Foreign Attorney Appearing Without Local Counsel.

You have requested an Unauthorized Practice of Law advisory opinion dealing with the issue of when a foreign attorney, previously admitted to a case pre hac vice by Court order, may appear alone without resident counsel who is a member of the Virginia State Bar.

The Committee has reviewed the issue you raise and is of the opinion that once a foreign attorney has been admitted pro hac vice, by Court order, all further activity of the foreign attorney is within the discretion of the Court.  Thus, the Committee believes that a foreign attorney may obviate any unauthorized practice of law concerns in Virginia by complying with any applicable local rules, a court order covering the duration of the matter, or by making an attempt on the record to obtain a ruling from the courts.  Conversely, therefore, any failure to comply with such courses of action could subject the foreign attorney to unauthorized practice allegations as well as sanctions by the Court and, in addition, could subject local counsel to disciplinary action.

Committee Opinion
August 13, 1990


Updated: Aug 28, 2006