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Rules being reviewed on temporary out-of-state attorney admission

March 17, 2011

The Indiana Supreme Court is reviewing the rules on how out-of-state attorneys receive temporary admission to practice law before state administrative executive agencies.

Public comments are being accepted until May 1 by the state court’s Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure. Three options have been presented: allow the agency itself to approve the out-of-state attorney’s temporary admission, give that power to the trial court where the agency is meeting, or make the Supreme Court the only decision-maker on that admission.

The issue came up last year after the Indiana appellate clerk’s office issued letters to various state agencies, including the Indiana Board of Pharmacy. The notice specifically detailed that administrative law judges do not have the authority to grant those pro hac vice requests, even when the practice of law involves representing a client in a hearing before that administrative body ALJ.

Only one of the appellate courts has that authority, according to Indiana Admission & Discipline Rule 3, section 2. Initially, the clerk’s office notified the agencies that when a foreign attorney submits a petition for temporary admission, the ALJ should decline to rule on that petition due to the rule and direct that attorney to file the petition with a county court where a judge is presiding over the matter. Later, the appellate clerk’s office notified agencies that out-of-state attorneys should file their petitions directly with the Indiana Supreme Court until this matter is reviewed.

The committee will now study the issue and establish a specific rule. It is interested in hearing what the legal community thinks. The court welcomes additional suggestions that address this process. Read more about the proposed changes.

The comments or additional options can be sent via email to localrulescomments@courts.state.in.us, or by mail to Lilia G. Judson, Executive Director; Indiana Supreme Court, Division of State Court Administration; 30 South Meridian Street, Suite 500; Indianapolis, IN 46204.

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