Finding competent and experienced local counsel in South Florida or elsewhere around the country can be challenging – take my word for it as I’m admitted to three states (we’ll count Washington, DC for that) and over 25 federal courts in the USA. My federal court practice often requires that I litigate cases in jurisdictions that I am not admitted, and doing that requires finding local counsel to assist with rules, pro hac vice admissions, and attending hearings. While flying around the country 3x/week does sound ‘fun,’ it’s often best to have trustworthy local counsel on your side.
What Experience Do You Have in Florida Courts?
“Local” is the key term in “local counsel.” While we are admitted in 25+ state and federal courts around the country, South Florida is where we call home. Our office in Coral Springs, FL is conveniently located 20 miles to the Southern District of Florida Fort Lauderdale Courthouse, 22 miles to the Broward County Fort Lauderdale Courthouse, 37 miles to the Southern District of Florida Miami Courthouse, 38 miles to the Miami-Dade County Main Courthouse, 41 miles to the Southern District of Florida West Palm Beach Courthouse, and 41 miles to the West Palm Beach Main Courthouse. There are a variety of other local/state courts in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Palm Beach Counties that are equally as close to our main office.
But being close to a courthouse and having a nice conference room are not the only requirements for local counsel. When I am looking for someone to team up with in another state, I am looking for experience – with the judges that I may encounter, the local rules of the court, and an ability to argue in court without me needing to across the country to supervise. So what experience does DeSouza Law have serving as counsel in the state and federal courts of Florida? Just a bit really….
What Does Local Counsel Do?
As most attorneys would say – “it depends.” We try to be flexible and do as much or as little as the main counsel requires. This can include helping you with pro hac vice admissions, helping you with filing motions, pleadings, and other papers, attending status conferences, and arguing motions in court. Whenever I retain local counsel, there are sometimes events that I want to handle myself and others that I prefer local counsel to handle. Sometimes I want local counsel there at the courthouse with me… sometimes I don’t. We do our best to accommodate the wishes of those who retain us, but always within the parameters of the local court that may require a certain level of participation from local counsel.
Local Rules and Pro Hac Vice Admissions
Need to know the Local Rules in a particular jurisdiction or the process for being admitted pro hac vice? These links should be helpful.