Out-of-state counsel seeking admission to practice law in Massachusetts pro hac vice (in one particular case or occasion) requires permission of the court. General Laws c. 221, § 46A, provides a guideline for the court's exercise of its discretion and requires a showing that the out-of-state counsel is a member in good standing of the bar in a state that grants similar privileges to Massachusetts attorneys.
Importantly, the trial court's allowance of a pro hac vice motion does not qualify the out-of-state counsel to file papers with the Appeals Court. A motion to have out-of-state counsel admitted pro hac vice must be filed in the Massachusetts Appeals Court after, or simultaneous to, the entry of the appeal and before out-of-state counsel seeks to file any papers. This motion must be filed by local Massachusetts counsel and be accompanied by an affidavit from out-of state counsel setting forth facts sufficient to satisfy the statutory and case law guidelines for the exercise of judicial discretion in ruling on these motions. See G. L. c. 221, § 46A; DiLuzio v. United Elec., Radio and Mach. Workers of America, Local 274, 391 Mass. 211 (1984).
Finally, as detailed below, the motion must be supported by evidence that the registration fee required by SJC Rule 3:15 has been paid, or that counsel is exempt from paying the fee because counsel will provide pro bono publico legal assistance to an indigent client.
Pro Hac Vice Registration Fee
As of January 1, 2019, SJC Rule 3:15 requires that prior to filing a motion to have out-of-state counsel admitted pro hac vice in the Appeals Court, out-of-state counsel must pay a non-refundable pro hac vice registration fee to the Board of Bar Overseers (Board), except when counsel is providing pro bono publico legal assistance to an indigent client. In the latter situation, the pro hac vice fee is waived. The fee is $355 per case in the Superior Court or Land Court, and $101 per case in any other court, including the Appellate Division of the District Court and the Boston Municipal Court. For information as to the Board's procedures for payment of the fee and FAQs, see the Board's website at http://massbbo.org.
Within seven days of receipt of payment of the registration fee, the Board will send an acknowledgment to the attorney seeking admission. Where counsel has paid the appropriate registration fee in the trial court and the case is appealed, no additional fee need be paid.
The motion for pro hac vice admission in the Appeals Court must aver that the registration fee required by Rule 3:15 has been paid or include, as an attachment, a copy of the Board acknowledgment. An attorney who is exempt from paying a registration fee because the attorney will provide pro bono publico legal assistance to an indigent client must aver that the attorney will provide such assistance.