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Rules Governing Out of State Counsel in California Arbitration Proceedings


Licensed California attorneys can represent clients in California courts and arbitration proceedings which take place in California.

However, attorneys licensed in other jurisdictions (and not also licensed in California) do not have an automatic right to represent their clients in California proceedings–including arbitration.

However, the California Rules of Court (specifically, Rule 9.43) establish procedures to permit certain out-of-state lawyers to appear and represent clients in California arbitration. Specifically, the procedures apply to attorneys in good standing and licensed to practice before another U.S. court (or the highest court of any U.S. territory or insular possession).



1. Qualification as “Out-of-State Attorney Arbitration Counsel” 

To qualify as “out-of-state attorney arbitration counsel,” an attorney who is not licensed in California must:

(a) Be a licensed attorney in good standing, eligible to practice before any U.S. state or federal court or the highest court in any U.S. territory or insular possession;

(b) Be retained to appear as counsel in or in connection with an arbitration proceeding in California;

(c) Have served the certificate required by California Code of Civil Procedure Section 1282.4 on the parties, counsel, and arbitrators in the relevant action (and ensure(d) that all of the information in the certificate is and remains true and accurate);

(d) Be approved to appear as counsel by the arbitrator(s) in the relevant proceeding and/or the forum where the arbitration is taking place; and

(e) Comply with all of the relevant rules and regulations governing appearances by out-of-state counsel.

Failure to comply with any of the foregoing requirements, or the discovery that the certificate served pursuant to the California Code of Civil Procedure contained any false or misleading information, may result in the foreign attorney being (i) disqualified from continuing to serve or appear as counsel in the arbitration, (ii) subject to discipline, fines, and other penalties, (iii) not approved to appear as out-of-state counsel in future matters.


*RossLaw serves as the California attorney of record for pro hac vice admissions in appropriate cases and circumstances. Please feel free to contact our office for more details.


Disclaimer: THIS ARTICLE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, AND DOES NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE OR CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE AUTHOR OR ROSS LAW AND ANY PERSON. Your legal rights and experiences may vary. Never use an online article (including this one) to evaluate your legal rights or claims. Consult an experienced attorney promptly to obtain a personalized evaluation of your claims, potential damages, and the various legal rights and options available to you.

You may lose or compromise your rights if you delay in consulting legal counsel. Most legal claims (and defenses), as well as legal and court procedures, are complicated and fact-dependent. If you believe you have a claim against someone who injured you, a lawyer who represented you in a previous lawsuit, or any other legal claim, consult an experienced lawyer immediately for an evaluation of your individual rights and claims.


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