Thursday, December 23, 2010

Middle District Judge Revokes Pro Hac Admission Unless Local Counsel Is 12 Month Resident Of Florida

This was sent to me back in September and for whatever reason I did not put it up [I see that the South Florida Lawyers Blog did post it HERE].  In the order quoted below, United States Magistrate Judge David A. Baker required counsel who had previously been admitted pro hac vice to obtain local counsel that lives within Florida twelve months out of the year or the pro hac admission would be revoked.  The court stated:
The Court finds that there is no basis to revoke Mr. Sprinkle’s pro hac vice admission. However, the Court admonishes Mr. Sprinkle for his lack of candor in failing to disclose the Grievance Commission Request for Investigation filed against him. Moreover, Mr. Sprinkle chose as local counsel, an attorney who is not “resident in Florida,” Ernest I. Gifford, but has his primary residence in Michigan. Mr. Gifford is not a Florida resident within the meaning of the Local Rule and therefore cannot serve as local counsel for Mr. Sprinkle’s appearances in this Court. The fact that “Mr. Gifford considers himself to have dual residency in Florida and Michigan” does not make him a resident of Florida, when the main office of his law firm remains in Michigan, he votes in Michigan, and does not have a homestead in Florida. See Doc. 29. Mr. Gifford is not qualified to serve as local counsel in this case.
It is ORDERED that Plaintiff’s Motion to Revoke is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part and Defendant’s Motion for Sanctions is DENIED. Mr. Sprinkle’s pro hac vice admission is not revoked at this time, subject to his obtaining appropriate local counsel resident in Florida (twelve months out of the year) within 14 days of the date of this Order. 
Finally, the Court observes that an inordinate amount of time and effort have been devoted by counsel to what is an essentially extraneous matter. Going forward, counsel are admonished to concentrate on the merits of the litigation, leaving any issues of personality conflict, and to conduct themselves with the highest degree of professionalism.
You can view the entire order HERE.


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