Pro Hac Vice Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Pro Hac Vice, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Pro Hac Vice?

the Latin word which means ” on this occasion” or “only this time”. Usually it refers to the lawyers who are not a part of the jurisdiction where a certain case is being heard and he/she may want to be the part of the case by practcing in that jurisdiction for this particular case only. The lawyer has to take the permission from the court of that jurisdiction by going for the Motion to appear pro hac vice which is applied by a lawyer who is already a part of that jurisdiction of court. The outside lawyer has prove his/her good standing in his/her own jurisdiction also.

History and Meaning of Pro Hac Vice

Pro Hac Vice is a Latin term that translates to "for this occasion only." In legal terms, it means that an attorney who is licensed to practice law in one jurisdiction can appear before a court in a different jurisdiction for a particular case. This legal concept has its origins in English common law, which allowed lawyers to practice in any court in the country.

The reason for using Pro Hac Vice is simply that the attorney is not licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction where the case is being heard. They need to obtain permission from the court in that jurisdiction through a motion to appear Pro Hac Vice, which is filed by an attorney who is already a member of the local bar.

Examples of Pro Hac Vice

  1. The high-profile case of Casey Anthony in 2011 was a great example of where the term Pro Hac Vice was used. The lawyer for the defense team, Jose Baez, was not licensed to practice law in Florida and had to file a motion to appear Pro Hac Vice.

  2. In 2019, Alan Dershowitz, an attorney for former US President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, applied for a motion to appear Pro Hac Vice in the Senate. He was not licensed to practice law in Washington DC.

  3. In another case, if an attorney is handling a civil litigation case in New York but is not a member of the New York bar, he or she would need to file a motion to appear Pro Hac Vice before being able to practice in that jurisdiction.

  4. In some jurisdictions, the attorney may also have to pay a fee to the court for being granted the privilege of appearing Pro Hac Vice.

Legal Terms Similar to Pro Hac Vice

  1. Habeas Corpus - it is a legal writ that commands that a detained individual be brought to the court or judge.
  2. Amicus Curiae - It is a Latin term that means "friend of the court." It is someone who is not connected to the case but may have an interest in it and can provide information to the judge.
  3. Statute of Frauds - It is a legal concept that requires certain contracts to be in writing to be considered valid in a court of law.