To represent a client in a California court, an attorney must file a motion known as "Pro Hac Vice," indicating that they are not licensed to practice law in the state. This phrase comes from Latin and means "on this occasion." In order to represent a client in a California court, an attorney licensed like California Business Lawyer & Corporate Lawyer, Inc, in another state must first file a formal petition asking for authorization to do so. A copy of the Pro Hac Vice  request filed to a state court must be uploaded to the attorney's online case record in the State Bar's Applicant Portal in order to file an online application for such petitions. The federal judicial system is excluded from this.

How to Apply for Pro Hac Vice California

The application must include paperwork presented to the state court in which the attorney seeks admission. The following details must be included in the paperwork:

  1. Reference number and case name from a court case
  2. Legal monicker
  3. Statement by the out-of-state lawyer listing their contact information (including phone number, fax number, physical location, and state where they are admitted to practise law)
  4. Attorney's statement of good standing with the bar in his or her native state

Please provide the following information for the attorney of record in California:

A copy of the papers and the notice of hearing must be uploaded to the Pro Hac Vice California application case record once the attorney has filed the originals with the court. The application must be accompanied by a $50 filing fee. It must be paid in full at the time of submitting your online application. Pro Hac Vice applications must be filed online through the Applicant Portal and must contain the aforementioned details in order to be considered for approval.

Anyone who has a valid license to practise law in California, including paralegals, assistants, and licenced attorneys, may file a Pro Hac Vice application on behalf of an out-of-state attorney via the Admissions Applicant Portal. To submit an application on behalf of a participating attorney in California, the paralegal or legal assistant must first establish their own portal account using their own credentials and then contact the Office of Admissions to activate their account.


A non-California license attorney who has been retained to appear in a specific case like California breach of contract elements pending in a California court may, in the discretion of such court, upon written application be allowed to appear as counsel pro hac vice, provided that he or she is a member in good standing of and eligible to practice before the bar of any United States court or the highest court in any state, territory, or insular possession of the United States. Under this rule, a person may not represent himself in court as counsel pro hac vice if they are:

The first requirement is that you be: 

  1. A California resident;
  2. To be a California resident with a stable job; or
  3. Have significant commercial, professional, or other activities that take place in California on a regular basis.


Suit at the High Court

To be admitted as counsel pro hac vice in a California superior court, an applicant must file an application with the court, as well as proof that copies of the application and the notice of hearing of the application were served by mail on all parties who have appeared in the cause, as well as on the State Bar of California at its San Francisco office, in accordance with Code of Civil Procedure section 1013a. If the court has not ordered a shorter time period, the notice of hearing must be given within the time period specified in section assembly bill 1135 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

Submission to the Highest or Appellate Court

Proof of service on all parties who have appeared in the case and on the State Bar of California at its San Francisco office is required in order to apply to appear as counsel pro hac vice in the Supreme Court or a Court of Appeal as set out in rule 8.54.

(Subsection (c) was updated and retitled as of January 1, 2007; it was originally established as part of subsection (b) on September 13, 1972; subsection (b) had previously been revised on October 3, 1973, September 3, 1986, January 17, 1991, and March 15, 1991.)