Ways to Hire an Out-of-State Lawyer

There are all sorts of reasons why a person could find it expedient to employ an attorney in a state other than the state where they’ve located their primary business or they personally live. Typically this is the case when a person wants to buy or sell real estate or where an individual is facing legal matters in a state besides the one in which they live.

In most circumstances, a lawyer should be accepted to practice in the state in which they are representing a client. This holds whether contracts are being negotiated or legal actions have been filed. You can come across exceptions to the general rule in a lot of jurisdictions.

To illustrate the point, some states make it possible for attorneys who are licensed in a different state to advocate on behalf of a client “pro hac vice” or “for this case.”  In order to be admitted pro hac vice, the lawyer has to be licensed in a different state and petition the local court to license him or her to represent the client in a particular issue. The local court may grant the petition, disallow the petition, or affirm the petition with certain qualifications. For example, the local court may require that the out of state attorney practice with a lawyer licensed in the state. The purpose of this demand is to benefit the client by providing local counsel who has greater experience dealing with local rules, state laws, and state systems.

Besides pro hac vice practice, attorneys may be cleared in some other state through reciprocity. Where reciprocity is possible, an attorney could be given admission to the bar of some other state which does not confine the attorney to representing a client in one case. This procedure is available if the attorney is licensed in a state that would recognize the other state’s attorney licenses. Normally, the attorney is required to have practiced for a specified number of years in one state before the second state will issue a license to practice law.

Transactions between people of different states is without question more typical – actually, it’s largely expected – these days on account of more travel choices and improvements in communications technology. This ostensibly could lead to someone needing legal representation out of state. In that case, it may become useful for one to retain the services of local counsel. Other cases might be served by requesting your usual legal representation to be permitted pro hac vice or admitted to the bar on account of reciprocity, if pertinent. If usual representation so consents, the extra expenses of travel can be negotiated as part of the fee arrangement. Often the client agrees to pay for these extra costs, if usual representation is willing and able to travel to the other state.