Thursday, March 01, 2007

Is Paul Gallegos licensed to practice law in Texas?

Hank Sims describes a PL Bankruptcy conference call in which Gallegos, acting in his official capacity (albeit on his cellphone), made what amounts to a court appearance in the matter, as he insisted the Court recognize that he joined with the CA AG's motion.

Gallegos graduated from an unaccredited law school. As I understand it, while he is licensed to practice law in California, he is not licensed to practice law in other states. In Texas state courts, they will grant a waiver (pro hac vice ) allowing a lawyer from California, from an unaccredited school,* to practice, but this has to be applied for and granted. Did he apply for pro hac vice status to appear or did he appear illegally?

But if the bankruptcy hearing is in front of a Federal Court, do they offer such a waiver? - This question arose in the comments yesterday and my limited googling hasn't gotten me an answer.

When Paul made a "court appearance" via cellphone, as described in the Journal article, was he practicing law without a license?

(*note: apparently California is one of the few states that allows unaccredited law school graduates to practice law, so the Texas judicial system allows a waiver subject to approval.)

Follow up:
Pacific Lumber Co. bankruptcy trial begins Tuesday in Texas

19 comments:

  1. Accredited or not on his law degree, has he passed the Kalifornia Bar exam? If so he is allowed to practice law in the PRC.

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  2. I didn't think one even had to go to law school in California. If you pass the bar, you're a lawyer. I thought that's how people like Denson did it.

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  3. Leonidas - the point is not that he can practice in California, but that he can't practice and did in Texas when he made that court appearance by phone and screwed up 2 hours of the proceedings.

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  4. To practice in Federal Court you only have to be admitted to the bar in ONE State. That's why so many California law school graduates travel to Texas to take the bar- they know they'll pass the first time.

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  5. Rose you dumb bitch, you dont need to go to law school to practice law.

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  6. 3:31, you pinhead, Rose did not say that one did. I suggest you have your mommy read the post to you (ask her to explain all the big words) and then you will see that your vulgar attack was unjustified, you fucking moron.

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  7. 1. ADMISSION VIA BAR EXAMINATION
    The predominant mechanism for a lawyer to represent a client in another state is for the lawyer to take that state's bar exam and be admitted in that state, just as if she were a new law school graduate. This form of admission is unduly burdensome... Some states do provide alternative bar exams for out-of-state attorneys, and while these short form exams remove a few of the burdens, other burdens, such as the requirement of a certain number of years of practice, remain. For example, in Texas, an applicant must practice for three years (or for an applicant who graduated from an unaccredited law school, five years) to apply to take a "Short Form Exam" covering primarily Texas procedure.31 The applicant must still meet the character, fitness, and other requirements. California similarly allows attorneys who have practiced for four years to take a shortened "Attorney's Exam."

    323. ADMISSION PRO HAC VICE
    For litigation matters, an attorney may seek admission to represent a client in another state "for this matter only," or pro hac vice. ... By filing the proper application, attorneys are routinely admission to practice in other jurisdictions under pro hac vice rules.

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  8. "...Law practice today is increasingly seamless. With information and communication technologies enabling lawyers, clients, academics, and courts to
    interact without barrier, 24/7, nothing much gets in the way of today’s lawyers serving clients.
    Except for state lines. A national debate is raging -- with localized versions in state bars -- over whether and how state bar admission and licensure rules should limit the practice of law.3 Questions include:
    Whether states should continue to be the licensing authority of choice ...
    Whether a lawyer should be able to sit at her desk in her state of admission and advise clients on the law of any jurisdiction, assuming she is competent to do so...
    Whether a lawyer licensed and in good standing in one state should be able to travel to another state to work on a legal matter, so long as she is competent in her work...
    Whether a lawyer who violates a professional rule or law of any state (including where she is practicing but not admitted) should be subject to that state’s discipline (including any decision to disbar in the state(s) where admitted)...
    Whether a lawyer who relocates to another state should be required to join that state’s bar (preferably by waiver, for experienced counsel) and be fully subject to its requirements..."

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  9. Admission on Motion
    Applicants must have graduated from an accredited law school, and actively and substantially practiced law as their main occupation for at least three of the five years immediately preceding application. In the alternative, applicants who have graduated from an unaccredited law school which is not based on correspondence, and who have actively and substantially practiced law as their main occupation for at least three of the five years immediately preceding application, may take the Texas Short Form Examination. Applicants who have failed the Texas bar examination or the Texas Short Form Examination are not eligible. Tex. R. Gov. Admis. Bar XIII.

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  10. California has one of the toughest Bar Exams, but some of the laxest rules. You do not have to go to school to take, or pass the Bar Exam - but they are not allowed to practice in most states if they do not come from an apporved or accredited school...

    Rule XIIIAttorneys From Other Jurisdictions
    Rule XIXRequirements for Participation in Texas Proceedings by a Non-Resident Attorney
    PRO HAC VICEFREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    5. Does Rule XIX make any exception for courts with limited jurisdiction, state agency appearances or appearances as counsel in depositions or other situations in which an attorney may not contemplate being physically present in a Texas court?
    No. The rule applies to all appearances as counsel in all proceedings in Texas before all state courts and state agencies if the rules of the particular agency contemplate appearances by counsel. The rule does not apply to cases in federal courts located in Texas.

    6. Does the pro hac vice application and fee apply when a matter is set for arbitration?
    If a suit is on file, any appearance by an attorney on behalf of a client, including for arbitration or mediation, is subject to the application and fee requirement, regardless whether the attorney never contemplates actually attending a court hearing.

    OK, so what are the rules for Federal Court - are they more - or less - stringent?

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  11. LR 83.9 Attorneys Not Admitted to Practice Before this Court

    Eligibility to Appear. An attorney who is licensed to practice law by the highest court of any state or the District of Columbia, but who is not admitted to practice before this court, may represent a party in proceedings in this court only by permission of the presiding judge.
    Application to Appear. Unless exempted by LR 83.11, an attorney who is not admitted to practice in this court, who desires to appear as counsel in a case, and who is eligible pursuant to subsection (a) of this rule to appear, shall apply for admission pro hac vice on a court-approved form and pay the applicable fee to the clerk.
    Regulation of Attorneys Admitted Pro Hac Vice. By appearing in any case, an attorney becomes subject to the rules of this court.

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  12. "Rose you dumb bitch, you dont need to go to law school to practice law"....

    UHHHHH, 331, I think that you have just been taken to the woodshed and spanked, by Rose, who is by no means a "dumb bitch", while it is patently obvious the same description can be used to describe you. lol

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  13. Actually they were both right and wrong at the same time.

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  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  15. We're not going to play this game, 11:01. Been there, done that.

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  16. Rose, why bother posting a thread on an issue that has a simple yes-or-no answer? You are usually good at research. You could easily have spent 5 minutes or so and found that, yes, Paul Gallegos did request and was granted permission to appear pro hac vice. This is simply a non-issue. Now the cell phone thing, well...

    Again, you are good at research. You should use that skill to seek to discover the truth, not just that half of the truth that agrees with your political agenda.


    Signed,

    An Unlikely Fan

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  17. Thank you for the information.

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  18. Gee 10: pm, where did you get that...seems like the clerk of the court didn't have that information at his fingertips when called.

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  19. Maybe it was after the fact

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