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Civil Litigation

Enforcing Subpoenas Nationwide in Federal Court – Important Update for Attorneys

By November 10, 2021No Comments

More and more Federal Courts are doing away with the local council requirements for out-of-state lawyers to practice in their courts.

Let’s say you are a lawyer litigating a case in federal court in Florida, and you have to serve a subpoena to Bank Inc (located in Texas). If Bank Inc. ignores your Subpoena (or gives you an unsatisfactory response) you can’t enforce that subpoena in your federal Florida District Court. You will have to go enforce that subpoena, in our example, in Texas.

To do that, you normally have to obtain local counsel from Texas, usually with an office within a certain mileage of the district court where you seem to practice. Obtaining local counsel may not be a good idea. Local counsel can be difficult, charge too much, want a piece of your case or it may simply be difficult to find. Moreover, local counsel may not trust your litigation style, your firm, etc. There are a lot of reasons—some practical, others related to normal human complexities—why obtaining local counsel can be a burden in your case.

The good news is that more and more federal courts are allowing out-of-state lawyers to be admitted Pro Hac Vice (a limited admission for the particular case). Some examples are the Southern District of New York, the Southern District of Texas, and the Eastern District of Wisconsin. As long as you are in good standing in your jurisdiction, file an application and pay a fee, you can be admitted in these and other districts without the need for local counsel.

At Ayala, we have solid federal practice. If you are a litigator and need support in your federal case, contact attorney Eduardo A. Maura at

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