On January 5, 2021, the North Carolina Business Court published on its website guidance for attorneys seeking admission to the Court pro hac vice. You can find a link to the resource here along with additional information and procedures for appearing before the Business Court. The resource is also available from the website’s landing page on the right side, where there is a link to “Pro Hac Vice Motions Practice.”
The pro hac vice process is tedious and particular, and this guidance aims to ensure more consistent compliance. In addition to reminding counsel to adhere to the requirements of N.C. Gen. Stat. § 84-4.1, North Carolina’s pro hac vice statute, the Business Court’s guidance provides a practical “how to” for those seeking admission pro hac vice under the Business Court Rules and the Business Court’s e-filing system. Here are some helpful takeaways:
- The attorney seeking admission pro hac vice must associate with an in-state attorney. The in-state attorney must create an account with the Business Court and first electronically file a notice of appearance in the action.
- Then, the in-state attorney must electronically file a motion for pro hac vice admission of the out-of-state attorney.
- The motion should fully comply with BCR 7 (the Business Court Rule that governs motions practice). However, the motion need not be accompanied by a brief (unless the Court directs otherwise).
- Because the motion must comply with BCR 7, it must state that the in-state attorney has consulted with all other counsel and unrepresented parties to the action and must set forth the position of each party concerning the motion, whether any party intends to file a response to the motion, and whether any party wishes to be heard concerning the motion. See BCR 7.3. This is a requirement above and beyond section 84-4.1. Failure to comply with BCR 7.3 could result in the motion being summarily denied.
The Business Court also clearly reiterates the information that must be included with, or attached to, the pro hac vice motion pursuant to section 84-4.1:
- The name, mailing address, state(s) of licensure, and bar membership number(s) of the out-of-state attorney seeking admission to appear pro hac vice in the action.
- The out-of-state attorney’s history of pro hac vice admission in the State of North Carolina.
- A client statement with certain declarations.
- A statement signed by the out-of-state attorney seeking admission with certain representations.
- A statement from the in-state attorney with certain representations, including a statement that they have forwarded or will forward the required $225.00 check to the Clerk of Superior Court in the county of venue.
Please refer to the Pro Hac Vice Motions Practice document for further details. Attorneys seeking admission pro hac vice in the Business Court should carefully review this document in addition to the Business Court Rules, which—as noted above—set forth detailed requirements for motions practice in the Business Court. The most up-to-date version of the Business Court Rules is available on the Business Court’s website here.