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LR 83.20 Attorney Admission

(a) Definitions.

(1) As used in this rule, except as provided in LR 83.20(i)(1)(E), "practice in this court" means, in connection with an action or proceeding pending in this court, to appear in, commence, conduct, prosecute, or defend the action or proceeding; appear in open court; sign a paper; participate in a pretrial conference; represent a client at a deposition; or otherwise practice in this court or before an officer of this court. A person practicing in this court must know these rules, including the provisions for sanctions for violating the rules. A person is not permitted to circumvent this rule by directing the conduct of litigation if that person would not be eligible to practice in this court.

(2) As used in this rule, "chief judge" includes his or her designee.

(b) Roll of Attorneys. The bar of this court consists of those currently admitted to practice in this court. The clerk will maintain the roll of admitted attorneys.

(c) Eligibility for Admission.

(1) A person who is admitted to practice in a court of record in a state, territory, commonwealth, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, or a United States District Court and who is in good standing is eligible for admission to the bar of this court, except as provided in (c)(2). Pro hac vice admission is not permitted.

(2) If the applicant has been held in contempt, subject to public or private discipline administered by a court or the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board or other similar disciplinary authority of another state, is not in compliance with an order of a court directed to the applicant as a party, or convicted of a crime, the chief judge will make an independent determination as to whether the applicant is fit to be entrusted with professional matters and to aid in the administration of justice as an attorney and officer of the court.

(d) Procedure for Admission.

(1) An applicant for admission to the bar of this court must pay the fee established by the court and complete the application provided by the clerk. The following information must be included in the application:

(A) applicant's name, firm/agency name (if applicable), office address, email address, office telephone and fax numbers;

(B) the date of admission for each jurisdiction where the applicant has been admitted to practice and appropriate I.D. number;

(C) whether the applicant has ever been held in contempt, or the subject of an order of discipline as defined in LR 83.22(a)(1). If so, the applicant must state the facts and the final disposition of each such instance;

(D) whether the applicant is not in compliance with an order of a court directed to the applicant as a party, or been convicted of a crime. If so, the applicant must state the facts and the final disposition of each instance; and

(E) any other name under which the applicant has received legal education or has practiced or been licensed and the periods during which the names were used.

(2) A sponsor who is a member of the bar of this court must sign a declaration supporting the application for admission. The sponsor must declare that the applicant is of good character and reputation and is qualified to practice as a member of the bar of this court.

(3) If the court grants the application, the applicant must take the oath of office. A judicial officer, the clerk, or a deputy clerk may administer the oath. The clerk shall issue a certificate of admission.

(e) Limited Pre-Admission Practice. An attorney may appear of record and file papers in a case or proceeding before actual admission to practice in this court if--

(1) the attorney pays the fee established by the court;

(2) the attorney files the application required by (d)(1) with the clerk; and

(3) the attorney is admitted before a personal appearance in court.

(f) Local Counsel. Any member of the bar of this court who is not an active member of the State Bar of Michigan must not appear as attorney of record in any case without specifying on the record, as local counsel, a member of the bar of this court having an office within the district upon whom service of all papers may be made. Such local counsel must enter an appearance in the case and must have both the authority and responsibility for the conduct of the case should out-of-town counsel not respond to any order of the court for appearance or otherwise. On application, the court may relieve an attorney who is not an active member of the State Bar of Michigan of the obligation to specify local counsel.

(g) Government Attorneys. An attorney representing the United States or an agency of the United States may practice in this court in an official capacity without applying for admission. If the attorney does not have an office in the district, he or she must designate the United States attorney or an assistant United States attorney for this district to receive service of all notices and papers. Service of notice on the United States attorney or designated assistant will constitute service on the nonresident government attorney.

(h) Law Student Practice. Law students may practice in this court only as permitted by LR 83.21, Law Student Practice.

(i) Unauthorized Practice.

(1) A person must be a member in good standing of the bar of this court to practice in this court or to hold himself or herself out as being authorized to practice in this court, except that--

(A) a party may proceed in pro per.

(B) limited pre-admission practice is permitted under LR 83.20(e).

(C) government attorneys may practice under LR 83.20(g).

(D) law students may practice under LR 83.21.

(E) an actively-licensed attorney who is not under suspension or disbarment in this or another federal or state court may --

(i) cosign papers or participate in pretrial conferences in conjunction with a member of the bar of this court.

(ii) represent a client in a deposition, provided that an attorney who is not a member of the bar of this court who conducts a deposition will be subject to the disciplinary rules of this court.

(iii) counsel a client in an action or proceeding pending in this court.

(F) an attorney may issue a subpoena under Fed.R.Civ.P. 45(a)(3)(B).

(2) A person knowingly violating this provision may, on notice and after hearing, be found guilty of criminal contempt.

(j) Consent to Standards of Conduct and Disciplinary Authority. An attorney admitted to the bar of this court or who practices in this court as permitted by this rule is subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct adopted by the Michigan Supreme Court, as amended from time to time, and consents to the jurisdiction of this court and the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission and Michigan Attorney Discipline Board for purposes of disciplinary proceedings.

COMMENT: Admission to practice pro hac vice has not been permitted in the Eastern District since 1981. The provision of LR 83.20(c)(1) is subordinate to any provision of federal law or rules to the contrary, e.g., Rule 6 of the Rules of Procedure of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation promulgated pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407(f).

The application referred to in LR 83.20(d)(1) requires attorneys to swear (or affirm) that they have read and will abide by the Civility Principles approved by the Court (APPENDIX CIVILITY to these rules). 11/6/2006

July 1, 2008


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