As a general rule, an attorney needs to be licensed to practice law in the state in which he or she is representing an individual. There are however, exceptions to this rule.
Some states allow an attorney admitted in one state to “waive” into the bars of other states. Waiving an attorney into another state is called being “admitted on motion.” Some states do not allow an attorney to be admitted on motion, no matter what the circumstances may be. Other states allow attorneys to waive in, but only for attorneys coming from states with “reciprocity” to that state.
Kentucky is one of 25 states that allows attorneys to practice law in multiple states based on a concept of reciprocity. Reciprocity for attorneys means that the state bar exam they passed is considered equivalent or similar enough to the exam given in the state in which they now wish to practice. Of the seven states that border Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia and Missouri are the only three that have admission on motion based on reciprocity.
Another way an attorney can practice law in another state is to be admitted “Pro Hac Vice” on a single given matter. Pro Hac Vice is Latin and means “for this one particular occasion.” To be admitted Pro Hac Vice, a lawyer must be experienced as well as sponsored by a member of the local bar. Additionally, a local attorney will often be asked to serve as co-counsel on the case with the out-of-state attorney.
Why Would I Hire an Attorney from Another State?
Many people have an attorney that they trust in their home state. With modern day travel and communication opportunities, it is increasingly possible for an individual to experience an incident in a state that is not their home state.
In some situations, it may make sense to hire a local attorney. But in other situations it may be more comfortable for an individual to be represented by their usual counsel. The court will need to admit the out-of-state attorney based on reciprocity or Pro Hac Vice.
If you have been injured in an accident, a Kentucky personal injury lawyer may be able to help. Thomas Law Offices is dedicated to helping all of their clients find justice, no matter which state they are from. Contact our legal team today for a free, no-obligation consultation of your case.