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Can the Clerk's office tell me how to proceed with my case?
Clerk's Office staff cannot give "legal advice" or "practice law" since they are prohibited under Title 28 U.S.C. § 955. Therefore, when asked, Clerk's Office staff cannot:
- explain the meaning of a specific rule;
- make an interpretation of case law (i.e., how a party is affected by events in a case or how a party should proceed);
- explain the result of taking or not taking an action in a situation;
- answer whether jurisdiction is proper in a case (e.g., Is this a federal question or diversity case?)
- answer whether the complaint properly presents a claim (e.g. did I say the right thing and is it enough information?);
- answer what the best procedures are to accomplish a particular objective (e.g., How do I subpoena a witness in a case?).
Clerk's Office staff can provide procedural information such as giving instructions on how to execute a task (i.e., number of copies, scheduling a hearing, use of forms, the number of days required to notice, etc.).
Your Day In Court
As an out-of-state attorney, how do I appear pro hac vice?
Local Rule 83.5 (d) establishes the application requirements for a special or limited appearance by an attorney. In addition, there is an application fee of $100 for any attorney moving to appear pro hac vice. Local counsel may file the motion for leave to appear pro hac vice and submit the required payment electronically via CM/ECF. For additional information, please review the Attorney Information section of our website.