R.I. Sup. Ct. R. 9

As amended through April 9, 2021
Rule 9 - Nonresident Attorneys - In-house Counsel - Senior Law Students.
(a)Pro Hac Vice Admissions. Any attorney who is a member in good standing of the bar of any other state, not resident in this state, whether practicing in such other jurisdiction as an individual or a member or employee of a limited liability entity authorized to practice law in such jurisdiction, may, upon special and infrequent occasion and for good cause shown upon a written miscellaneous petition presented by a member of the bar of this state, be permitted in the discretion of this Court, or such other court to which authority is delegated, to participate to such an extent as the court may prescribe in the presentation of a cause or appeal in this or any court, tribunal, commission, board, or agency in this state; provided, however, that, unless waived for good cause shown by this Court upon the filing of a miscellaneous petition requesting such relief:
(1) In no instance shall a nonresident attorney be permitted to appear pro hac vice in more than three (3) cases or other proceedings in the State of Rhode Island within the five (5) year period preceding the filing of the miscellaneous petition;
(2) A member of the bar of this state who is actively engaged in the practice of law out of an office located in this state must sign all pleadings, briefs, and other papers filed with the court, tribunal, commission, board, or agency, and shall assume full responsibility for them and for the conduct of the cause and of the attorney to whom such privilege is accorded; and
(3) The sponsoring attorney shall sign the miscellaneous petition, and the attorney seeking pro hac vice admission and the client (that is, the party named in the pleading) who will be represented by pro hac vice counsel shall sign certifications in support of the petition, using the forms prescribed by the Clerk of the Supreme Court.

The nonresident attorney shall, in the certification accompanying the petition, indicate the number of times the nonresident attorney has, within the five (5) years preceding the filing of the petition, appeared pro hac vice in a case or other proceeding in the State of Rhode Island, identifying the other cases or proceedings in which the nonresident attorney has been admitted pro hac vice. Unless the Supreme Court, the court granting pro hac vice admission, or the tribunal itself permits otherwise, any nonresident attorney who is granted such leave to practice before a particular tribunal shall not engage in any proceeding, hearing, or trial therein unless there is present in the courtroom or hearing room for the duration of the proceeding, hearing, or trial a member of the bar of Rhode Island who shall be prepared to continue with the proceeding, hearing, or trial in the absence of the nonresident attorney who has been so granted leave.

Good cause for according such privilege shall be limited to facts or circumstances affecting the personal or financial welfare of the client and not the attorney. Such facts may include but are not limited to the following:

(i) A showing that the cause involves a complex field of law in which the nonresident attorney is a specialist;
(ii) A long-standing attorney-client relationship;
(iii) Lack of local counsel with expertise in the field involved;
(iv) The existence of legal questions involving the law of a foreign jurisdiction; and
(v) The need for extensive discovery proceedings in a foreign jurisdiction. Subject to the provisions of this rule the following courts are delegated the authori-ty to permit nonresident attorneys to participate in causes or appeals before them and before those state and municipal tribunals, courts, boards, and agencies from which an appeal or petition for review may be taken to that court: the Superior Court; the Family Court; the District Court; the Workers' Compensation Court; and the Rhode Island Traffic Ttribunal. Nonresident attorneys who seek permission to participate before a state tribunal, commission, board or agency, or municipal court, commission, board, or agency shall file a miscellaneous petition for admission pro hac vice before the court to which an appeal is taken from that court, tribunal, commission, board, or agency.

A separate miscellaneous petition and filing fee shall be required of each attorney seeking pro hac vice admission, except where such admission is sought to represent a party in respect to a prior pending action, appeal, or other proceeding in the court from which admission pro hac vice is sought, in which event a motion in lieu of a miscellaneous petition may be filed within that action, appeal, or other proceeding without the necessity of any additional filing fee.

Miscellaneous petitions seeking admission pro hac vice shall be filed in the respective courts using the Rhode Island Judiciary's Electronic Filing System in accordance with Article X of the Rhode Island Supreme Court Rules and the respective court rules of procedure. The most current forms for pro hac vice are located on the Judiciary's website at www.courts.ri.gov under the heading of Public Resources, Forms.

(b)Registration of In-House Counsel. An attorney who is employed by a corporation or other entity at an office in this state, and who is a member in good standing of the bar of any other state but is not a member of the bar of this state, may be permitted to practice law in Rhode Island consistent with this rule upon electronically filing the Petition for Registration as In-House Counsel available on the Rhode Island Supreme Court Attorney Portal and after satisfying this Court that the attorney is a member in good standing of said court. An in-house counsel shall be subject to Articles III (Disciplinary Proce-dures), IV (Periodic Registration of Attorneys and Mandatory Continuing legal Education Regu-lations), and V (Rules of Professional Conduct) of these rules.

An in-house counsel shall be permitted to practice law in this state but only on behalf of the corporation or other entity by which the in-house counsel is employed, its directors, officers, and employees in their respective official or employment capacities, and/or its commonly owned or controlled organizational affiliates, except that an in-house counsel shall not appear in the courts of this state, and shall not appear in any agency or municipal proceeding that the attorney has reason to believe prior to the proceeding is contested unless the attorney is admitted pro hac vice pursuant to subsection (a) and any provisional orders of this Court. In-house counsel registered with the Court pursuant to this rule may provide pro bono legal services offered and supervised by the Rhode Island Bar Association.

(1)Senior Law Students. A senior law student in a law school accredited and approved by the American Bar Association may appear without compensation on behalf of the state (including a subdivision thereof or a municipal corporation) or on behalf of indigent parties in criminal or civil proceedings in the District Court, in the Family Court, in the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal in any municipal court (including probate or housing), or before any state or municipality administrative agency, board, or department, providing that the conduct of the case is under the general supervision of a member of the bar of this State who, as appropriate, is a regular or special assistant attorney general or municipality solicitor, or is employed by the Office of the Public Defender or any other state agency, or is associated with an organized and approved program providing legal services to indigents which program is either funded in whole or in part by the federal government or by the Rhode Island Bar Foundation or sponsored by a law school accredited and approved by the American Bar Association.
(2) The term "general supervision" shall not be construed to require the attendance of the supervising attorney in court or before the tribunal. Where a supervising attorney is present, however, the supervising attorney shall have the right to participate with the student in the proceed ings at the supervising attorney's discretion. Provided furt her that no senior law student shall conduct a trial on the merits on behalf of an indigent defendant in the District or Family Courts unless the supervising attorney is present to oversee the conduct of the proceedings.
(3) The term "senior student" or "senior law student" shall mean a student who has completed successfully the equivalent of at least three (3) full-time semesters of the student's course of law school study and who has completed or is enrolled in a course for credit in evidence or trial practice. Such student shall also secure the written approval by the dean of the student's r law school certifying to the student's good character, legal ability, and training. The dean's written approval shall be filed in respect to a student or group of students with the Clerk of the Supreme Court and shall remain in effect, unless withdrawn earlier, until the date of the first bar examination following the student's graduation, and as to a student taking that examination, until the announcement of the results thereof. For any student who passes that examination, the approval shall continue in effect until the date of the student's admission to the bar.
(4) The justices of the Supreme Court or a justice of the Superior Court may, in the exercise of judicial discretion, permit a senior law student qualified and supervised as provided in subsections (1) through (3) hereof, to appear without compensation on behalf of the state or an indigent party in a criminal or civil proceeding or appeal. The supervising attorney shall be present in the Supreme or Superior Court to oversee the conduct of the proceedings and may participate in the proceedings, either at his or her discretion or if required to do so by the Court in the interest of justice or to ensure the orderly administration of court business.
(5) Any indigent party represented by a senior law student shall be informed at the commencement of the representation that the student is practicing pursuant to this rule. No student shall represent an indigent party in any proceeding in court or before any administrative agency, board or department without the client's written consent and, if the client is a child, without the written consent of the guardian ad litem, if any, as well.
(6) The term "without compensation" used in this rule shall not be construed to make such senior law students ineligible to be paid as interns or work study participants in the office of the Attorney General or the Public Defender wherein their compensation shall not depend in any way upon the number of cases, if any, in which they might be called upon to participate. Such programs, whether supported by federal, state, or other funding resources shall not in any way be inhibited or adversely affected by any provisions of this rule.
(7) Senior law students seeking certification under this rule shall electronically file the Peti-tion for Senior Law Student Certification available on the Rhode Island Supreme Court Attorney Portal.

R.I. Sup. Ct. R. 9

Amended effective September 7, 2018.