View random article

What Does "Pro Hac Vice" Mean?

A pro hac vice is a term used in a court of law which refers to circumstances wherein an out-of-state lawyer or a lawyer who is not part of the jurisdiction of a case is allowed to participate or practice in that particular case. It is a Latin term, which literally means “for this situation” or “for this term”. This is a situation when a lawyer is an expert to a certain case; he requests approval to practice pro hac vice. If granted, the lawyer will be allowed to represent someone in court even though he is not licensed to practice in the state where the case is being tried. This kind of situation happens commonly to lawyers who has just move to a new state and has a plan to apply for a license there but wishes to continue his practice immediately.

The lawyer must request permission by going through the motion of pro hac vice which is applied by a lawyer who is already a part of that jurisdiction. Application to appear pro hac vice needs to include a statement from the lawyers’ jurisdiction stating that he is a member in good standing also a fee may need to be paid for the court to consider the motion. Requesting to appear pro hac vice is not a guaranteed situation. The court has the right to reject such applications.

The consequences of failure to properly appear pro hac vice can be disastrous. Failure to receive pro hac vice certification may result to the revocation of his license to practice in that state.

Featured in Life