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Pro hac vice admission

Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice MS Word

Important note: All pro hac vice attorneys must create an eCourts account to conduct business with the circuit courts.

The following questions and answers pertain primarily to the filing of the required pro hac vice application and application fee to the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR). Other requirements for pro hac vice admission are governed by Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules and certain Wisconsin Circuit Court Local Rules (external link)

Use the links below or scroll down the page:

  1. When did the new fee and application requirements take effect?
  2. If the lawsuit was filed before the effective date of the new rule, is the application and fee required?
  3. What must a non-resident attorney who is not admitted to the bar in Wisconsin do to be admitted pro hac vice in Wisconsin?
  4. How must the required fee be paid?
  5. Can the application fee be waived?
  6. Are there any exceptions to filing of the Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice?
  7. Do the fee and Application requirements apply to non-resident attorneys that are employed by governmental or non-profit entities?
  8. Will one application and fee suffice for multiple cases?
  9. Can a law firm submit an application for the firm that will cover multiple attorneys participating in the same case?
  10. Are the application and fee required for appearances in municipal court proceedings, appearances before federal courts, appearances as counsel in depositions, or situations in which an attorney will not enter an appearance before a Wisconsin court?
  11. Are the application and fee required for non-resident counsel to appear in state agency proceedings?
  12. Can a single check be submitted to pay for more than one application?
  13. What is "evidence" of payment of the fee to the Office of Lawyer Regulation?
  14. Does a non-resident attorney have to be associated with a Wisconsin attorney with an active law license?
  15. Can corporate counsel sponsor a non-resident attorney for admission pro hac vice?
  16. Does the sponsoring Wisconsin attorney have to participate in the matter?
  17. Will the fee be refunded if the case is dismissed?
  18. Is another application and fee required if a case is appealed to an appellate court?
  19. Can a motion to the court be filed simultaneously with the submission of the fee and application to the OLR?
  20. What if there are extenuating circumstances the form does not address?
  21. Who decides motions for pro hac vice appearance?
  22. What if my motion for admission pro hac vice is denied?
  23. Can I confirm if an attorney has filed an Application and paid the OLR fee?
  24. How does the Board apply the funds received for pro hac vice applications?

1. When did the new fee and application requirements take effect?
The changes are effective January 1, 2009, pursuant to Supreme Court Rule order 06-06 Adobe PDF, In the matter of Petition of the State Bar of Wisconsin to Amend Chapter 20 of the Supreme Court Rules (July 30, 2008).

2. If the lawsuit was filed before the effective date of the new rule, is the application and fee required?
Yes, if the motion is filed after the January 1, 2009 effective date.

3. What must a non-resident attorney who is not admitted to the bar in Wisconsin do to be admitted pro hac vice in Wisconsin?
First, the non-resident lawyer seeking admission pro hac vice sends a check, money order, or bank cashier's check payable in the full amount due directly to the Office of Lawyer Regulation (NOT to the State Bar of Wisconsin). The application fee is $50 per case. Credit card payments are not accepted. The fee should be accompanied by the completed and signed Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice MS Word. (See Appendix A to SCR 10.03 (4) Adobe PDF.)

Second, after the attorney has sent the fee and application to the OLR, the Wisconsin attorney sponsoring the admission must file a motion with the state court or tribunal before which pro hac vice admission is sought. The motion must be accompanied by a signed Application and any additional materials required by local rule. An affidavit of mailing or delivery of the fee or a photocopy of the check must be attached as "proof of payment" of the fee.

Some Wisconsin circuit courts and administrative agencies have their own local rules, forms, and requirements regarding pro hac vice admission. Wisconsin Circuit Court Local Rules (external link). If so, you should follow these rules and/or use those forms. If not, you should use the form for Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice MS Word as part of the motion for admission pro hac vice

4. How must the required fee be paid?
The $50 pro hac vice application fee must be paid by check, money order, or bank cashier's check payable to the Office of Lawyer Regulation. Credit card payments are not accepted.

Mailing and delivery address:
Office of Lawyer Regulation
110 East Main Street, Suite 315
Madison, WI 53703-3383
Attention: Pro hac vice application

See also Question 5 regarding situations in which waiver of the fee is permitted.

5. Can the application fee be waived?
Yes. The application fee will be waived if the candidate certifies that he or she is employed by an agency providing legal services to indigent clients and will be appearing on behalf of an indigent client, or that the candidate will otherwise be appearing on behalf of an indigent client in the proceeding and will be charging no fee for the appearance. You should submit this certification together with your Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice MS Word.

Nonresident military counsel are generally exempt from both the application and fee requirement. See Question 6; SCR 10.03(4)(c) Adobe PDF. You should advise the admitting tribunal that you are invoking this exception as part of your motion for admission pro hac vice.

6. Are there any exceptions to filing of the Application for Admission Pro Hac Vice?
Yes. Nonresident military counsel are generally exempt from both the application and fee requirement. See SCR 10.03(4)(c) Adobe PDF. You should advise the admitting tribunal that you are electing this exemption as part of your motion for admission pro hac vice.

7. Do the fee and Application requirements apply to non-resident attorneys that are employed by governmental or non-profit entities?
Yes, the same regulations apply to all non-resident attorneys without regard to the attorney's employer. However, the application fee is not required if the candidate certifies that he or she is employed by an agency providing legal services to indigent clients and will be appearing on behalf of an indigent client, or that the candidate will otherwise be appearing on behalf of an indigent client in the proceeding and will be charging no fee for the appearance. See Question 5.

8. Will one application and fee suffice for multiple cases?
Generally, no. The attorney must submit an application and fee for each case in which the non-resident attorney seeks to participate. However, if the cases will be consolidated or litigated together, a single application and fee is sufficient. You should explain this situation as part of both your application and the motion to the court.

9. Can a law firm submit an application for the firm that will cover multiple attorneys participating in the same case?
No. SCR 10.03(4)(b) Adobe PDF refers to the individual attorney.

10. Are the application and fee required for appearances in municipal court proceedings, appearances before federal courts, appearances as counsel in depositions, or situations in which an attorney will not enter an appearance before a Wisconsin court?
Generally, if a motion for pro hac vice admission is required by the Wisconsin tribunal before which you will appear, then the OLR fee and application requirement applies. The application and fee do not apply to appearances as counsel in federal courts located in Wisconsin. For appearances in agency proceedings see Question 11. Non-resident attorneys who may appear as counsel in depositions, or in situations in which the attorney will not enter an appearance before a Wisconsin tribunal should consult SCR 20:5.5 Adobe PDF.

11. Are the application and fee required for non-resident counsel to appear in state agency proceedings?
No. An administrative law judge or hearing examiner may permit nonresident counsel to appear in a particular agency proceeding without being in association with an active member of the state bar of Wisconsin. See SCR 10.03(4)(d) Adobe PDF. If the matter proceeds to the circuit court, the non-resident attorney will generally need to seek admission pro hac vice from the circuit court and will then need to submit the application and fee to the OLR. You are also advised to consult SCR 20:5.5 Adobe PDF.

12. Can a single check be submitted to pay for more than one application?
Yes. However, all applications should be submitted together with the check in the appropriate total fee amount.

13. What is "evidence" of payment of the fee to the Office of Lawyer Regulation?
An affidavit of mailing of the fee or affidavit of delivery of the fee or a copy of the check mailed to the OLR is sufficient evidence of payment for purposes of filing a motion for admission pro hac vice.

14. Does a non-resident attorney have to be associated with a Wisconsin attorney with an active law license?
Generally, yes.  See SCR 10.03(4)(b) Adobe PDF.  There are some exceptions for nonresident military counsel and appearances in certain agency proceedings. See Questions 6 and 11.  See also State v. Lehman, 403 N.W.2d 438 (Wis. 1987) (trial court has discretionary authority to appoint counsel not licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin as stand-by counsel).

15. Can corporate counsel sponsor a non-resident attorney for admission pro hac vice?
It depends. A lawyer registered under SCR 10.03(4)(f) Adobe PDF (the "corporate counsel" rule) cannot sponsor a non-resident attorney for pro hac vice admission. Lawyers registered under the corporate counsel rule are generally not authorized to appear and participate in court proceedings. An enrolled active member of the bar under SCR 10.03(4)(a) Adobe PDF who is employed as in-house counsel may sponsor a non-resident attorney for admission pro hac vice.

16. Does the sponsoring Wisconsin attorney have to participate in the matter?
Yes. The amount of participation required of local counsel is decided by each court on a case-by-case basis.

17. Will the fee be refunded if the case is dismissed?
No, the fees will not be refunded if the case is dismissed, nor will fees be refunded if you withdraw your application or do not meet all requirements for admission.

18. Is another application and fee required if a case is appealed to an appellate court?
No. The payment form and application fee covers the attorney through subsequent appellate or circuit court actions or proceedings in the same matter. You should confirm that the order granting admission pro hac vice is part of the record on appeal. See SCR 10.03(4)(b) Adobe PDF.

19. Can a motion to the court be filed simultaneously with the submission of the fee and Application to the OLR?
This is not advised. The fee and Application should be sent to the Office of Lawyer Regulation as a mandatory first step before filing a motion seeking pro hac vice admission in the Wisconsin court proceeding.

20. What if there are extenuating circumstances the form does not address?
The rule provides that an applicant may include additional information supporting the request for admission pro hac vice as part of the motion seeking admission pro hac vice. See SCR 10.03(4)(b) Adobe PDF.

21. Who decides motions for pro hac vice appearance?
The specific Wisconsin court or tribunal in which the attorney asks to appear pro hac vice decides whether a non-resident attorney may appear pro hac vice. This is a discretionary determination. The decision to revoke a nonresident attorney's pro hac vice admission is also within the court’s discretion. See Jensen v. Wisconsin Patients Compensation Fund, 241 Wis.2d 142, 621 N.W.2d 902 (2001); SCR 10.03(4)(e) Adobe PDF

22. What if my motion for admission pro hac vice is denied?
You may seek to appeal that decision.

23. Can I confirm if an attorney has filed an application and paid the OLR fee?
Yes. Such inquiries should be directed to the Office of Lawyer Regulation.

24. How does the Board apply the funds received for pro hac vice applications?
Fees received by the Office of Lawyer Regulation will be remitted to the general fund and used for the general operating requirements of the lawyer regulation system.

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