Attorney Admission

 

Admission to this Court's Bar


Attorney admissions are governed by LR 83.5

Admission to and continuing membership in the bar of this Court is limited to attorneys of good moral character who are active members in good standing of the Commonwealth Supreme Court Bar or, if admitted temporarily or pro hac vice, of any United States Court or the highest court of any State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States.

Procedure for Admission

  1. Each applicant for admission must present to the clerk a written petition for admission stating the applicant's full name, residence address, office address, the applicant's law school and date of graduation, the names of the Courts before which the applicant is admitted to practice, and the respective dates of admission to those courts.

  2. The application for admission must be accompanied by:

    1. A certificate from the Supreme Court of the Northern Mariana Islands evidencing the fact that the applicant is an active member in good standing,
       
    2. A certificate from all other states or territories in which the applicant is admitted to practice evidencing the fact that the applicant is in good standing.

  3. If the clerk finds that the petition for admission complies with these requirements, a judge or his or her designee will administer the following oath of admission to the applicant:

    I solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and abide by the Constitution and laws of the United States and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; that I will maintain due respect for the United States Courts and Judicial Officers; that I will conduct myself conscientiously as an attorney of this Court, and that I will abide by the Model Rules of Professional Conduct of the American Bar Association.
  4. Before the clerk issues a certificate of admission to the applicant and enters the applicant into the roll of attorneys, the applicant must:

    1. sign the prescribed oath;
       
    2. pay an attorney admission fee fixed by the Judicial Conference of the United States, together with an assessment in an amount to be set by the Court made payable to Clerk, District Court of the Northern Mariana Islands.

  5. Any attorney so admitted and any attorney previously admitted who remains eligible for admission under subsection (a) of this Rule will be deemed to be a local member of this Court's bar while residing in and having an office in the Northern Mariana Islands.

  6. Any attorney admitted to practice before this Court, but who does not reside in and have a full-time, staffed office in the Northern Mariana Islands, may practice only by associating local counsel as required by subsection (f) of this Rule, unless the requirement is waived for good cause shown.

Biennial Renewal Fee


Effective 20181, any attorney, other than pro hac vice, admitted the District Court for the NMI, must pay a fee every two years in an amount set by the Court, which will be due on or before February 15 payable to Clerk, District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands. Upon failure to pay the renewal fee, a member will be given thirty (30) days' notice by the Court that the renewal fee has not been received and that a late fee is due. If the attorney fails to pay the fees within thirty (30) days after the notice is sent, a second thirty-day notice will be sent and if the attorney fails to pay within this period, the Court will enter an order removing his or her name from the roll of attorneys admitted to the bar of this Court and the attorney will be required to qualify anew pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of this Rule before being re-registered as an active member of the bar of this Court.

Temporary Admission

  1. Any attorney who is a member in good standing of the bar of the highest court of any state and who is employed by the United States, the Commonwealth government, the Northern Mariana Islands Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc., or Micronesian Legal Services Corporation will be eligible to practice before this Court within the scope of the attorney's employment while so employed. Every attorney allowed to appear in this Court under this subsection must comply with the requirements of subsection (b), above, except that attorneys employed by the United States need not comply with subsection (b)(2)(A), (b)(4)(B), (b)(5), (b)(6) and (c).

  2. Attorneys permitted to practice in this Court under this section are subject to the jurisdiction of the Court with respect to their conduct to the same extent as members of the bar of this Court.

  3. Upon termination of employment with any of the entities listed in subsection (d)(1), the attorney so temporarily admitted will notify, in writing, the clerk of such termination within fourteen (14) days. Once notified, the clerk will strike the temporarily admitted government attorney from the roll of attorneys. If the temporarily admitted attorney meets the requirements for full admission while still employed as an attorney for the entities listed in subsection (d)(1), and complies with all of the requirements set forth in subsection (b) herein, the admission fee will be waived.

Pro Hac Vice

  1. Upon written application approved in the judge's discretion, an attorney who is a member in good standing of the bar of any United States court or of the highest court of any State, Territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, who is of good moral character, and who has been retained to appear in this Court, may appear and participate in a particular case subject to the conditions of this Rule.

  2. Unless otherwise authorized by the United States Constitution or Acts of Congress, an attorney is ineligible to practice under this section if:

    1. The attorney resides in the Northern Mariana Islands;
    2. The attorney is regularly employed in the Northern Mariana Islands; or
    3. The attorney regularly engages in business, professional, or other activities in the Northern Mariana Islands.

  3. The pro hac vice application will be presented to the clerk and must state under penalty of perjury:

    1. The attorney's residence and office address;
    2. The attorney's law school and date of graduation;
    3. By what court(s) the attorney has been admitted to practice and the date(s) of admission;
    4. That the attorney is in good standing and eligible to practice in all court(s) to which the attorney has been admitted;
    5. That the attorney is not currently suspended or disbarred in any court; and
    6. If the attorney has concurrently or within the year preceding the current application made any pro hac vice application in this Court, the attorney must state:

      1. The title and the number of each matter wherein the attorney made application,
      2. The date of application, and
      3. Whether or not the application was granted.

  4. The pro hac vice applicant will file with the application:

    1. Fee. Applicant must pay a fee fixed by the Judicial Conference of the United States, together with an assessment in an amount to be set by the Court made payable to Clerk, District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands. If the pro hac vice application is denied, the Court may refund any or all of the fee or assessment paid by the attorney. If the application is granted, the attorney is subject to the jurisdiction of the Court with respect to his conduct to the same extent as a member of the bar of this Court.

    2. Designation of Local Counsel. The applicant must designate local counsel pursuant to section (f) of this rule.

      1. The pro hac vice applicant must file the address, telephone number, and a written consent from the attorney's local counsel with the application.

      2. The associated local counsel must at all times meaningfully participate in the preparation and trial of the case with the full authority and responsibility to act as attorney of record for all purposes.

      3. Local counsel must attend all proceedings related to the case for which counsel is associated unless excused by this Court.

      4. Any document required or authorized to be served on counsel by the Federal Rules of Civil or Criminal Procedure, or by these Rules, may be served upon the associated local counsel and such service will be as effective as if served on the off-island counsel. Service upon associated local counsel will be deemed proper and effective service unless excused by the judge.

  5. Attorneys permitted to practice in this Court under this section are subject to the jurisdiction of the Court with respect to their conduct to the same extent as members of the bar of this Court.

  6. Notice of Change of Status. An attorney who is a member of this Court's bar or who practices in this Court under subsection (e) of this Rule must promptly notify the Court of any change or potential for a change in his or her status in another jurisdiction which could make the attorney ineligible either for membership in this Court's bar or to practice in this Court.

Local Counsel for Non-Resident Attorneys and Pro Hac Vice
Applicants.


Due to the remoteness of this district, any attorney admitted to practice before this Court who does not reside in and have a full-time, staffed office in the Northern Mariana Islands, and any attorney seeking admission pro hac vice must associate with an attorney with a local office who is an active member in good standing of this Court's bar. This requirement may be waived for good cause, at the Court's discretion, upon a showing that the attorney has made diligent efforts to associate with local counsel and has been unable to do so.

 


1 The renewal fee for 2018 will not apply to attorneys admitted between January 1, 2016 and February 15, 2018.