Academic journal article Defense Counsel Journal

Massachusetts Lawyer Invades Rhode Island Unsuccessfully

Academic journal article Defense Counsel Journal

Massachusetts Lawyer Invades Rhode Island Unsuccessfully

Article excerpt

Illustrating the issues in extra-jurisdictional practice and pro hac vice rules, the Rhode Island Supreme Court granted pro hac vice status to a Massachusetts lawyer but refused to pre-date the status to legitimate services already performed. In re Ferrey, 774 A.2d 62 (R.I. 2001).

The Bay State lawyer, Steven E. Ferrey had sought and obtained approval of the Rhode Island Energy Facility Siting Board to appear before it. Later he sought pro hac vice permission from the Rhode Island Supreme Court not only to continue to provide legal services before that agency but to have the admission apply nunc pro tunc from the date of his first appearance before the board. The court granted the pro hac vice permission, but it refused to backdate the authority.

The court conceded that its own pro hac vice rule pertains only to appearances in "court," but it declared that it had an "unquestioned inherent right" to determine who may practice law in Rhode Island and that the practice of law includes work outside the courts. …

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