(a) Motion for Special Admission.

(1) Generally. A member of the Bar of this State who

(A) is an attorney of record in an action pending

(i) in any court of this State, or

(ii) before an administrative agency of this State or any of its political subdivisions, or

(B) is representing a client in an arbitration taking place in this State that involves the application of Maryland law, may move that an attorney who is a member in good standing of the Bar of another state be admitted to practice in this State for the limited purpose of appearing and participating in the action as co-counsel with the movant.

Committee note: "Special admission" is a term equivalent to "admission pro hac vice." It should not be confused with "special authorization" permitted by Rules 19-218 and 19-219. 

(2) Where Filed.

(A) If the action is pending in a court, the motion shall be filed in that court.

(B) If the action is pending before an administrative agency, the motion shall be filed in the circuit court for the county in which the principal office of the agency is located or in any other circuit court in which an action for judicial review of the decision of the agency may be filed.

(C) If the matter is pending before an arbitrator or arbitration panel, the motion shall be filed in the circuit court for the county in which the arbitration hearing is to be held or in any other circuit court in which an action to review an arbitral award entered by the arbitrator or panel may be filed.

(3) Other Requirements. The motion shall be in writing and shall include the movant's certification that copies of the motion have been served on the agency or the arbitrator or arbitration panel, and all parties of record.

Cross reference: See Appendix 19-A following Title 19, Chapter 200 of these Rules for Forms 19-A.1 and 19-A.2, providing the form of a motion and order for the Special Admission of an out-of-state attorney. 

(b)  Certification by Out-of-State Attorney. The attorney whose special admission is moved shall certify in writing the number of times the attorney has been specially admitted during the twelve months immediately preceding the filing of the motion. The certification may be filed as a separate paper or may be included in the motion under an appropriate heading.

(c) Order. The court by order may admit specially or deny the special admission of an attorney. In either case, the clerk shall forward a copy of the order to the State Court Administrator, who shall maintain a docket of all attorneys granted or denied special admission. When the order grants or denies the special admission of an attorney in an action pending before an administrative agency, the clerk also shall forward a copy of the order to the agency.

(d) Limitations on Out-of-State Attorney's Practice. An attorney specially admitted pursuant to this Rule may act only as co-­counsel for a party represented by an attorney of record in the action who is admitted to practice in this State. The specially admitted attorney may participate in the court or administrative proceedings only when accompanied by the Maryland attorney, unless the latter's presence is waived by the judge or administrative hearing officer presiding over the action. An attorney specially admitted is subject to the Maryland Attorneys' Rules of Professional Conduct during the pendency of the action or arbitration.

Cross reference: See Code, Business Occupations and Professions Article, § 10-215. 

Committee note: This Rule is not intended to permit extensive or systematic practice by attorneys not admitted in Maryland. Because specialized expertise or other special circumstances may be important in a particular case, however, the Committee has not recommended a numerical limitation on the number of special admissions to be allowed any out-of-state attorney. 

When the Maryland Board of Law Examiners, DC Bar Committee on Admissions, or any character committee questions your character and fitness for bar admission, bar applicants should retain an attorney to assist in disclosing information relevant to character and fitness, to guide them through the bar admissions process, and to represent applicants in character committee hearings and in hearings before the Court of Appeals to determine whether they are fit to practice law. Character and fitness concerns may arise in connection with prior criminal convictions, academic dishonesty and honor code violations, addictions, drunk driving, neglected debts, and a failure to disclose material information on law school applications or on bar applications. If you have a history of misconduct, traffic citations, crimes, arrests and other facts to disclose in response to the character portion of the Maryland Bar Application or the DC Bar's NCBE application, you should strongly consider retaining bar admissions counsel if you want to avoid denial of a law license and get a license to practice law. This is even true for applicants for admission to law schools as these applications ask similar questions about character. A failure to disclose facts material to your admission could result in a denial of bar admission.


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