You are here

Civil Rules for Attorney Admissions and Visiting Attorney Admissions

Attorney LR Civ P 83.1. Admission of Attorneys

  1. Admission as Member of Bar or Court.

    Any person who is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia and who is in good standing as a member of its bar, is eligible for admission as a member of the bar of this court. An eligible attorney may be admitted as a member of the bar of this court upon motion of a member (Sponsoring Attorney) who shall sign the register of attorneys with the person admitted. If the motion for admission is granted, the applicant shall take the attorney's admission oath or affirmation, sign the attorneys' register, and pay the clerk the admission fee. Once admitted under this provision, the person need not have an office for the practice of law in West Virginia to appear and practice in this court.

    Any person who has been subject to disciplinary suspension or disbarment by the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals but has been readmitted to practice by the Supreme Court and is in good standing as a member of its bar, is eligible for re-admission as a member of the bar of this court. The attorney may be re-admitted as a member of the bar of this court upon motion of a member (Sponsoring Attorney) who shall sign the register of attorneys with the person re-admitted. If the motion for re-admission is granted, the applicant shall take the attorney's admission oath or affirmation, sign the attorney's register, and pay the clerk the admission fee.

  2. Sponsorship of Visiting Attorneys by Members of Court.

    The Sponsoring Attorney must be a member of the bar of this court, have an office for the practice of law in West Virginia, and practice law primarily in West Virginia.

  3. Appearance by Assistant United States Attorneys and Assistant Federal Public Defenders.

    Any attorney employed by the United States Attorney or the Federal Public Defender for this judicial district must qualify as a member of the bar of this court within one year of his or her employment. Until so qualified, the attorney may appear and practice under the sponsorship of the appointing officer.

  4. Appearance by Federal Government Attorneys.

    Federal government attorneys who are not members of the bar of this court need not complete the Statement of Visiting Attorney. In cases where the United States Attorney is associated with other government attorneys in proceedings involving the Federal government, the United States Attorney (except in student loan collection cases), in addition to other Federal government attorneys, shall sign all pleadings, notices, and other papers filed and served by the United States. All pleadings, notices, and other papers involving the Federal government may be served on the United States Attorney in accordance with the service requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.

LR Civ P 83.2. Legal Assistance by Law Students

  1. Written Consent.

    With the written consent of an indigent and his or her attorney of record, an eligible law student may appear on behalf of that indigent. With the written consent of the United States Attorney or his or her representative, an eligible law student may also appear on behalf of the United States. With the written consent of the Federal Public Defender, an eligible law student may appear on behalf of the Federal Public Defender. With the written consent of the Attorney General of the State of West Virginia or his or her representative, an eligible law student may also appear on behalf of the State of West Virginia. In each case in which an eligible law student appears, the consent shall be filed with the clerk.

  2. Responsibilities of Attorneys of Record.

    An eligible law student may assist in the preparation of pleadings, briefs, and other documents to be filed in this court, but such pleadings, briefs, or documents must be signed by the attorney of record. An eligible law student may also participate in hearings, trials, and other proceedings with leave of court, but only in the presence of the attorney of record. The attorney of record shall assume personal professional responsibility for the law student's work. The attorney of record shall be familiar with the case and be prepared to supplement or correct any written or oral statement made by the law student.

  3. Eligibility Requirements.

    To be eligible to appear pursuant to this role, the law student must:

    1. be enrolled in a law school approved by the American Bar Association;
    2. have successfully completed legal studies for at least 4 semesters, or the equivalent if the school is on some basis other than a semester basis;
    3. be certified by the dean of his or her law school as being of good character and competent legal ability. The dean's certification shall be filed with the clerk. This certification may be withdrawn by the dean at any time without notice or hearing and without any showing of cause by notifying the clerk in writing, or it may be terminated by the court at any time without notice of hearing and without any showing of cause. Unless withdrawn or terminated, the certification shall remain in effect for 18 months after it has been filed with the clerk or until the law student has been admitted as a permanent member of the bar of this court, whichever is earlier;
    4. certify in writing to the clerk that he or she has read the Code of Professional Conduct of the American Bar Association, the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Standards of Professional Conduct promulgated and adopted by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, and the Model Rules of Professional Conduct published by the American Bar Association;
    5. be introduced to the court by a permanent member of the bar of this court; and
    6. neither ask for nor receive any compensation or remuneration of any kind for services from the party assisted, but this shall not prevent an attorney, legal services program, law school, public defender agency, the State of West Virginia, or the United States from paying compensation to the law student, nor from making appropriate charges for such services.

     

LR Civ P 83.3. Representation of Parties

Every party to proceedings in this court, except parties appearing pro se, shall be represented by a member of the bar of this court and may be represented by a Visiting Attorney and Sponsoring Attorney as provided in LR Civ P 83.1(a), 83.1(b), and 83.6. A corporation or unincorporated association cannot appear pro se.

LR Civ P 83.4. Withdrawal and/or Termination of Representation

An attorney may withdraw from a case in which he or she has appeared only as follows:

  1. By Notice of Withdrawal. A party’s attorney may withdraw from a case by filing and serving a notice of withdrawal, effective upon filing, if:

    1. multiple attorneys have appeared on behalf of the party; and
    2. at least one of those attorneys will still be the party’s counsel of record after the attorney seeking to withdraw does so.
  2. By Notice of Withdrawal and Substitution. A party’s attorney may withdraw from a case by filing and serving a notice of withdrawal and substitution, effective upon filing, if the notice includes:

    1. the withdrawal and substitution will not delay the trial or other progress of the case; and
    2. the notice is filed and served at least 90 days before trial.
  3. By Motion. An attorney who seeks to withdraw other than under LR 83.4(a) or (b) must move to withdraw and must show good cause. The attorney must notify his or her client of the motion.

LR Civ P 83.5. Pro se Appearances

A party who represents himself or herself shall file with the clerk his or her complete name and address where pleadings, notices, orders, and other papers may be served on him or her, and his/her telephone number. A pro se party must advise the clerk promptly of any changes in name, address, and telephone number.

LR Civ P 83.6. Admission of Visiting Attorneys

  1. Procedure for Admission.

    Any person who has not been admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, but who is a member in good standing of the bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, the bar of the highest court of any other state in the United States, or the bar of the District of Columbia, shall be permitted to appear as a Visiting Attorney in a particular case in association with a Sponsoring Attorney as herein provided. The Sponsoring Attorney must be a member of the bar of this court, have an office for the practice of law in West Virginia, and practice law primarily in West Virginia. The Visiting Attorney shall file with the clerk, at or before his or her initial appearance (including signing a pleading), the Statement of Visiting Attorney adopted by order of this court, which is available from the clerk and on the court's web site, and shall pay the Visiting Attorney fee. The Statement shall designate a Sponsoring Attorney, upon whom pleadings, notices, and other papers may be served. The Sponsoring Attorney shall consent to the designation and shall thereafter sign all papers that require the signature of an attorney. Any paper filed by a Visiting Attorney not in compliance with this role may be stricken from the record after 14 days written notice transmitted to the Visiting Attorney at his or her address as known to the clerk. Upon compliance with this role and introduction of the Visiting Attorney to the court by the Sponsoring Attorney, the Sponsoring Attorney, with the consent of the court, may be excused from further attendance during the proceedings and the Visiting Attorney may continue to appear in that particular case.

  2. Motion Not Required.

    Filing a properly completed Statement of Visiting Attorney and paying the Visiting Attorney fee constitute all steps necessary to qualifying as a Visiting Attorney for a particular case and no motion to appear as a Visiting Attorney is required.

  3. Payment of Visiting Attorney Fee.

    1. Fee Payable to Clerk. The court will charge a Visiting Attorney fee, payable to the Clerk, United States District Court, in an amount to be set by order. Pursuant to Judicial Conference policy, the fees will be used only for purposes which inure to the benefit of the members of the bench and the bar in the administration of justice. Other than library materials, the fees will not be used to supplement appropriated funds and will not be used to pay for materials or supplies available from statutory appropriations. The fees will be placed in a fund administered by the clerk as custodian of the fund. Disbursements will be made only at the direction of a committee, the members of which will be appointed by the Chief Judge, in accordance with a written plan.
    2. West Virginia State Bar Pro Hac Vice Fee. The pro hac vice fee imposed by the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia applicable to Visiting Attorneys shall be paid to The West Virginia State Bar and is not payable to the clerk of the district court.
  4. Exceptions to Payment of Visiting Attorney Fee.

    1. Bankruptcy Cases. The Visiting Attorney fee will apply in every bankruptcy case in which the reference to the Bankruptcy Court has been withdrawn, and in every appeal of a bankruptcy case to the District Court. Otherwise, the imposition of a Visiting Attorney fee in a bankruptcy case will be governed by the Local Rules for Bankruptcy Court.
    2. Multidistrict Litigation Cases. Pursuant to the Rules of Procedure of the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, a Visiting Attorney fee will not be charged in any case which is filed in this court pursuant to a transfer under said Rules.
    3. Miscellaneous Cases. A Visiting Attorney who files a miscellaneous case which does not require judicial action (e.g., one filed in order to obtain a subpoena) is exempt from paying the Visiting Attorney fee, from associating with a Sponsoring Attorney, and from filing the Statement of Visiting Attorney. A Visiting Attorney who files a miscellaneous case which does require judicial action (e.g., motion to compel testimony at a deposition) must comply with LR Civ P 83.6(a).
    4. Federal Government Attorneys. Attorneys employed by the United States Department of Justice or any other Federal department or agency will not be required to pay the Visiting Attorney fee.
    5. Law Students. Law students who participate in a case in accordance with these Rules will not be charged a Visiting Attorney fee.
  5. Waiver of Payment of Visiting Attorney Fee.

    A Visiting Attorney and his/her Sponsoring Attorney may file a motion requesting a waiver of the Visiting Attorney fee in a particular case or cases, for good cause shown. The motion will be decided by the judge assigned to the case; the motion should be filed within 21 days of the assignment of the case to the judge. Examples of cases in which waiver may be appropriate are: numerous collection actions filed by one plaintiff; numerous negligence actions filed by one firm representing many plaintiffs against one defendant or group of defendants arising out of a single incident or related incidents (e.g., a catastrophic fire, or exposure to a toxic substance). If a waiver is granted, the Visiting Attorney will pay such Visiting Attorney fee in an amount as ordered by the presiding district judge.

  6. Revocation of Visiting Attorney Privilege.

    For good cause, the presiding district judge may revoke the privilege of an attorney to be a Visiting Attorney in one or more specified cases.