LR 83.20: Attorney Admission
(1) As used in this rule, except as provided in LR 83.20(i)(1)(D), "practice in this court" means, in connection with an action or proceeding pending in this court, to appear in, commence, conduct, prosecute, or defend the action or proceeding; appear in open court; sign a paper; participate in a pretrial conference; represent a client at a deposition; or otherwise practice in this court or before an officer of this court. A person practicing in this court must know these rules, including the provisions for sanctions for violating the rules. A person is not permitted to circumvent this rule by directing the conduct of litigation if that person would not be eligible to practice in this court.
(2) As used in this rule, "chief judge" includes his or her designee.
(b) Roll of Attorneys. The bar of this court consists of those currently admitted to practice in this court. The clerk will maintain the roll of admitted attorneys.
(c) Eligibility for Admission.
(1) A person who is admitted to practice in a court of record in a state, territory, commonwealth, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, or a United States District Court and who is in good standing is eligible for admission to the bar of this court, except as provided in (c)(2). Pro hac vice admission is not permitted.
(2) If the applicant has been held in contempt, subject to public or private discipline administered by a court or the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board or other similar disciplinary authority of another state, is not in compliance with an order of a court directed to the applicant as a party, or convicted of a crime, the chief judge will make an independent determination as to whether the applicant is fit to be entrusted with professional matters and to aid in the administration of justice as an attorney and officer of the Court.
(d) Procedure for Admission.
(1) An applicant for admission to the bar of this court must pay the fee established by the Court and complete the application provided by the clerk. The following information must be included in the application:
(A) applicant’s name, firm/agency name (if applicable), office address, email address, office telephone and fax numbers;
(B) the date of admission for each jurisdiction where the applicant has been admitted to practice and appropriate I.D. number;
(C) whether the applicant has ever been held in contempt, or the subject of an order of discipline as defined in LR 83.22(a)(1). If so, the applicant must state the facts and the final disposition of each such instance;
(D) whether the applicant is not in compliance with an order of a court directed to the applicant as a party, or been convicted of a crime. If so, the applicant must state the facts and the final disposition of each instance; and
(E) any other name under which the applicant has received legal education or has practiced or been licensed and the periods during which the names were used.
(2) An applicant for admission to the bar of this court must submit an original certificate of good standing issued within the last 30 days from a court of record identified in (c)(1).
(3) A sponsor is not required for an applicant under (c)(1), unless directed by the chief judge. A sponsor is required for an applicant under (c)(2) and for an applicant taking the oath of office by telephone or video conference in (d)(4). A sponsor is a member of the bar of this court who must sign a declaration supporting the application for admission. The sponsor must declare that the applicant is of good character and reputation and is qualified to practice as a member of the bar of this court. A sponsor who knowingly and willfully provides a false or fraudulent declaration will be subject to sanctions under 18 U.S.C. § 1001.
(4) If the Court grants the application, the applicant must take the oath of office. An applicant with an office in the district must personally appear to take the oath before a judicial officer. A judicial officer may designate the clerk or a deputy clerk to administer the oath. An applicant without an office in the district may take the oath by telephone or video conference before a judicial officer. The clerk then will issue a certificate of admission.
(e) Maintaining Eligibility for Admission. An attorney immediately must report to the chief judge a change of the status of his or her permission to practice law in any other jurisdiction if:
(1) the attorney’s license to practice law becomes inactive in any jurisdiction for any reason other than under an order of discipline as defined in LR 83.22(a)(1);
(2) the change to inactive status leaves the attorney unlicensed to practice law in all other states and the District of Columbia; and
(3) the attorney has a case pending in this court or seeks to appear in a case.
The chief judge then will make an independent determination whether the attorney may continue to practice in this court. The chief judge may issue a show cause order to assist in making the determination. The failure to make a timely report may itself be grounds for discipline. The obligation to report orders of discipline from other jurisdictions is governed by LR 83.22(g)(3).
(f) Local Counsel.
(1) General Requirement. A member of the bar of this court who appears as attorney of record in the district court and is not an active member of the State Bar of Michigan must specify as local counsel a member of the bar of this court with an office in the district. Local counsel must enter an appearance and have the authority and responsibility to conduct the case if non-local counsel does not do so. On application, the Court may relieve an attorney who is not an active member of the State Bar of Michigan of the obligation to specify local counsel.
(2) Appearances of Local Counsel. Local counsel must attend each scheduled appearance on the case unless the Court, on its own motion or on motion or request of a party, dispenses with the requirement.
(g) Government Attorneys. An attorney representing the United States or an agency of the United States may practice in this court in an official capacity without applying for admission. If the attorney does not have an office in the district, he or she must designate the United States attorney or an assistant United States attorney for this district to receive service of all notices and papers. Service of notice on the United States attorney or designated assistant will constitute service on the nonresident government attorney.
(h) Law Student Practice. Law students may practice in this court only as permitted by LR 83.21, Law Student Practice.
(i) Unauthorized Practice.
(1) A person must be a member in good standing of the bar of this court to practice in this court or to hold himself or herself out as being authorized to practice in this court, except that--
(A) a party may proceed in pro per.
(B) government attorneys may practice under LR 83.20(g).
(C) law students may practice under LR 83.21.
(D) an actively-licensed attorney who is not under suspension or disbarment in this or another federal or state court may --
(i) cosign papers or participate in pretrial conferences in conjunction with a member of the bar of this court.
(ii) represent a client in a deposition, provided that an attorney who is not a member of the bar of this court who conducts a deposition will be subject to the disciplinary rules of this court.
(iii) counsel a client in an action or proceeding pending in this court.
(2) A person knowingly violating this provision may, on notice and after hearing, be found guilty of criminal contempt.
(j) Consent to Standards of Conduct and Disciplinary Authority. An attorney admitted to the bar of this court or who practices in this court as permitted by this rule is subject to the Rules of Professional Conduct adopted by the Michigan Supreme Court, as amended from time to time, and consents to the jurisdiction of this court and the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission and Michigan Attorney Discipline Board for purposes of disciplinary proceedings.
COMMENT: Admission to practice pro hac vice has not been permitted in the Eastern District since 1981. The provision of LR 83.20(c)(1) is subordinate to any provision of federal law or rules to the contrary, e.g., Rule 6 of the Rules of Procedure of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation promulgated pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1407(f).
The application referred to in LR 83.20(d)(1) requires attorneys to swear (or affirm) that they have read and will abide by the Civility Principles approved by the Court (APPENDIX CIVILITY to these rules). 11/6/2006
Under (d)(4), an applicant taking the oath of office in person will be referred to the presiding judge, a volunteer judge, or a judge with whom the applicant has made a previous arrangement. 06/04/2012
Local counsel appearances under (f) do not apply to bankruptcy cases, which are governed by the bankruptcy court's orders, rules, and policies, or to criminal cases, which are governed by LCrR 57.1. 06/04/2012
October 1, 2022