BBA Endorses Proposed Pro Hac Vice Admission Fee

Emphasizing a need to increase funding for legal services, this week the Boston Bar Association’s governing council voted to endorse an application from the Access to Justice Commission that would institute a pro hac vice admission fee for out-of-state attorneys seeking to appear in Massachusetts courts.  A fraction of the money raised will be retained by the Board of Bar Overseers for the administration, while the remainder will be dedicated to the IOLTA Committee.  The IOLTA Committee would then distribute the money, as it does with all IOLTA revenue, to three charitable entities: the Boston Bar Foundation, the Massachusetts Bar Foundation and the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation.  These three entities use the funds to make grants to local civil legal services programs throughout the Commonwealth. 

The admission fee would have the added benefit of helping Massachusetts courts track the number of attorneys admitted pro hac vice.  If adopted, Massachusetts would join 41 other states and the District of Columbia in charging a pro hac vice admission fee and 8 other states that use some or all of the fees collected for access to justice services provided by legal aid organizations.  The Access to Justice Commission plans to petition the Supreme Judicial Court for a new court rule that would institute this fee.