Pro Hac Vice
For questions or additional information, contact Sean O'Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 447-2204.
From the 2009 AMENDED RULES FOR ADMISSION TO THE BAR OF MONTANA
Supreme Court of the State of Montana, Order 00-329, March 3, 2009; amended by Order AF 11-0244, December 17, 2015 and June 7, 2016.
VI. PRO HAC VICE
A. Upon written application, an attorney who is not admitted to practice law in the state courts of Montana and who is at the time admitted and authorized to practice law in the highest court of another state may, with leave of the presiding court, appear pro hac vice in any action or proceeding, if an attorney admitted to practice in the courts of Montana is associated as attorney of record.
B. An attorney may not appear pro hac vice under this section if the attorney is a resident of Montana, is regularly employed in Montana, or is regularly engaged in the practice of law or in substantial business or professional activities in Montana, unless the attorney has an application for admission pending with the Bar Admissions Administrator.
C. Upon an attorney or firm’s second appearance pro hac vice, no further pro hac vice appearances are permitted except upon a showing of good cause. Findings of good cause to exceed the two-appearance limit are not to be routinely granted. For purposes of this Rule, “good cause” includes, by way of example only, a showing that the attorney or firm seeking to appear pro hac vice possesses experience or expertise not commonly available in the membership of the State Bar of Montana or where the attorney or firm is acting as counsel in a multistate class action. For purposes of this Rule, only those appearances made after November 17, 1998, will be considered.
D. Applications for pro hac vice must be obtained from the State Bar of Montana. The application form must require that the applicant provide the following information:
1. the applicant's residence and office addresses;
2. the state and federal courts to which the applicant has been admitted to practice and the dates of admission;
3. whether the applicant is a member in good standing in those courts;
4. whether the applicant is currently suspended or disbarred in any court and, if so, a description of the circumstances under which the suspension or disbarment occurred;
5. whether the applicant has been formally notified of any complaints pending before a disciplinary agency in any other jurisdiction and, if so, a description of the nature and status of any pending disciplinary complaints including a copy of the complaint;
6. an identification of all law firms with which the applicant is associated and a description of all pending pro hac vice appearances of the applicant's firm(s) in Montana;
7. the title of each state court and cause in which the applicant has filed an application to appear as counsel pro hac vice, the date of each application, and whether it was granted;
8. the name, address, and telephone number of the active member of the State Bar of Montana who is the attorney of record;
9. an affirmation that the applicant will comply with the applicable statutes, law, and procedural rules of the state of Montana; be familiar with and comply with the Montana Rules of Professional Conduct; and submit to the jurisdiction of the Montana courts, the Montana disciplinary process, and the State Bar of Montana with respect to acts and omissions occurring during appearances under this rule; and
10. whether payment has been made to the State Bar of Montana in accordance with the requirements of Section IV(D) of these rules.
E. The completed application, along with a fee equal to the annual amount
paid by active members of the Montana Bar, must be filed with the Bar
F. The application will be reviewed by the Bar Admissions Administrator,
who shall certify the number of prior appearances the applicant has been granted
under Rule VI.C., whether the applicant has provided the required information,
whether the applicant is in good standing in the other jurisdiction(s) where
admitted, and whether Montana counsel is in good standing.
G. Upon certification, the Bar Admissions Administrator shall forward the
application to the appropriate court or agency. The court or agency shall enter an
order granting or refusing the application and, if the applicant is refused, the court
or agency shall state its reasons. The court or agency shall mail a copy of the
order to the applicant, counsel of record, and the Bar Admissions Administrator.
H. The Bar Admissions Administrator shall maintain a record of all pro hac
vice applications as a public record. Attorneys appearing pro hac vice shall notify
the Bar Admissions Administrator upon conclusion of the matter in which the
I. An attorney appearing pro hac vice under this Rule is subject to the
jurisdiction of the Montana courts and agencies with respect to Montana law
governing the conduct of attorneys to the same extent as an attorney admitted to
practice in the courts of this state. The attorney appearing pro hac vice shall
comply with the Montana Rules of Professional Conduct and is subject to the
disciplinary jurisdiction of the Montana Supreme Court. The court or agency in
which an attorney is appearing pro hac vice or the Montana Supreme Court may,
for violations of Montana law, the Montana Rules of Professional Conduct, Rules for Admission to the Bar of Montana, or orders of the court, withdraw its
permission for an attorney to appear pro hac vice.
J. Montana attorneys of record shall sign all pleadings, motions, and briefs
and participate actively in all phases of the case, including, but not limited to,
attendance at depositions and court or agency proceedings, preparation of
discovery responses and briefs, and all other activities necessary to be prepared to
go forward with the case at all times. A district court or agency, upon motion by
local counsel, may waive this Rule based upon a showing of extraordinary
circumstances. Upon waiver of the Rule by the district court or agency, all papers
subsequently filed shall be signed by counsel actively involved in the case. Such a
waiver is not to be routinely granted.
K. Attorneys admitted pro hac vice shall continue to pay annual dues and fees
as provided in Rule I.G.6. while the case is pending.
>Pro Hac Vice Application Form (Allow 5 working days for processing)
How to I file for pro hac vice and what is the fee?
An application needs to be sent along with $495 per attorney to the
State Bar of Montana. Attorneys admitted pro hac vice will continue to
pay annual dues and fees each year for the term of the Montana
litigation or until such time that the State Bar of Montana is advised
that the attorney has withdrawn from representation. However, for a
lawyer who is appearing pro bono as defined under Rule 6.1 of the Rules
of Professional Conduct, the pro hac vice fee shall be a one-time-only
fee equal to the amount paid annually by active members of the Montana
What is the process after you receive my application?
The rules above and the application will provide more information. The
Bar will then verify that all attorneys are in good standing in the
states they’re currently licensed and the number of appearances had by
the attorney and their firm. Letters will be mailed to the attorneys and
the clerk advising of the status of this information. Local counsel will file a motion for the applicant to appear. (The State Bar
does not approve or deny applications, as that is up to the discretion
of the court hearing the matter.)
What do I file with the Court?
In most courts, the local counsel vice will need to
file a motion and proposed order; the court will grant or deny the appearance. (The clerk of court will notify the State Bar whether the court approved
or denied the appearance.)
Will I be reminded when the annual assessment is due each year?
Yes, the Bar will send an invoice to each pro hac vice attorney until
we’re notified that the matter has been settled or closed. The invoice
will show the amount of the dues and fees payable.
Do I need to file an application if my case is in federal court?
No. For information about filing pro hac vice in the US Courts in
Montana, please go to their website at http://www.mtd.uscourts.gov.
Payment of Dues when case is stayed
A lawyer who has been admitted pro hac vice under the Bar admission
rules continues under that status until the conclusion of the legal
matter for which she or he has been admitted—unless the lawyer properly
withdraws before the conclusion of the case. There is no exception
regarding the procedural posture of the case.
What is the procedure if local counsel withdraws who is supervising an attorney appearing pro hac vice?
The Court has a great amount of latitude whether to allow withdrawal of
local counsel and assumption of not only the case by new counsel, but
the duties of local counsel to supervise the pro hac attorney. Rule J of
the Pro Hac Vice Rules state as follows: "Montana attorneys of record
shall sign all pleadings, motions and briefs and participate actively in
all phases of the case, including, but not limited to, attendance at
depositions and court or agency proceedings, preparation of discovery
responses and briefs and all other activities necessary to be prepared
to go forward with the case at all times. A district court or agency,
upon motion by local counsel, may waive this rule based upon a showing
of extraordinary circumstances. Upon waiver of the rule by the district
court or agency, all papers subsequently filed shall be signed by
counsel actively involved in the case. Such a waiver is not to be
Therefore, an attorney admitted pro hac vice may not continue in a case
without local counsel associated to fully participate as cited in the
rule above absent a "showing of extreme circumstances". Upon filing of a
motion to substitute counsel or a motion to withdraw, the new counsel
will need to notify the State Bar of Montana, in writing, that he will
be assuming duties of local counsel and the responsibility to oversee
the pro hac vice attorney. The Bar will then verify the good standing
of local counsel and send the court and attorney a letter verifying the
new local counsel’s status and substitution for previous counsel. It’s
then up to the court to grant or deny the substitution.
Out of state counsel is required to associate with local counsel and to file pro hac vice if they’re filing an amicus brief.