Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Local Counsel — Unauthorized Signature by Out-of-State Counsel

An out-of-state attorney electronically filed a post-trial motion reflecting her local counsel’s signature by including an ‛/s/“ electronic signature for him. Her local counsel, who was on vacation at the time the filing was made, notified the Judge on his return that the filing had been made without his "knowledge, consent, authorization, or approval." District Judge Robert Kugler in Chambers v. Heidelberg, USA, Inc., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38819 (D.N.J. May 25, 2007) found that out-of-state counsel’s conduct constituted unethical deception, particularly given that a local rule of court mandated the signature of a New Jersey attorney on all filings. The Judge revoked out-of-state counsel’s pro hac vice admission to the District of New Jersey and notified all jurisdictions in which she is admitted to practice of her conduct. The moral is: Maintain good relations with your local counsel.

Share this article:


Recent Posts