Local Counsel Expectations
Because we take our role as local counsel seriously, we express the following Local Counsel Expectations to ensure that we can provide a working relationship with the client and lead counsel that is both effective and cost-efficient while maintaining our responsibilities as local counsel under the local rules. We are confident that we can work effectively with your current counsel to provide you great service. If a client wishes to engage us as local counsel for a matter pending in Texas, we will ask the client and lead attorney to sign off on our Local Counsel Expectations agreement to ensure that mutual expectations are set in the beginning. The following are some key elements required for us to act as local counsel in Texas:
Adequate Review Time for Filings and Advice
For us to perform our role as local counsel effectively, we must be given the opportunity to review pleadings and documents sufficiently in advance of their submission so that our suggestions and proposed revisions can be discussed, considered, and where appropriate, implemented. We will do our best to get back to you immediately, but in the absence of true emergencies we need a one- to two-day lead time. Such an arrangement also spares our staff from having to work miracles and meeting last-minute filing deadlines.
Not a "Mailbox" - We Must Remain Involved in the Case
Additionally, our local rules require that local counsel be up to date on cases, and some courts require that we be available at a moment’s notice to handle hearings and other court requests. Because of these requirements, we cannot function solely as a “mailbox” as is sometimes requested of local counsel. Rather, we must stay up to date on the case status. We will endeavor to be as efficient as possible in this role.
Compliance with Texas Lawyer's Creed and Dondi
In addition to Texas Bar ethical rules, we also comply with the Texas Lawyer's Creed as well as the Dondi opinion (Northern District of Texas) in handling litigation matters, either as lead counsel or local counsel. We encourage all referring lawyers to read the Texas Lawyer's Creed as well as the Dondi opinion, both of which can be found on our website. Note - review and compliance with the Dondi opinion is a requirement for admission pro hac vice for the Northern District of Texas.
For all local counsel matters, we will require a retainer to be held as security for final payment. Retainer requirements are set on a matter-by-matter basis, and our minimum retainer for a local counsel engagement is $10,000. For additional details about our engagement process, read our Engaging with Us section.
Referral Commitments and Service Goals
We offer the above statements about local counsel services because we take this responsibility seriously, and want to assure that our working relationship is effective and cost-efficient. Please see our Referral Commitments for a discussion of our commitments to referring attorneys as well as our Service Goals to all clients.
Additional Information on Local Counsel Services
For more information about the local counsel services we provide, read our Local Counsel Services Overview. The pro hac vice admission requirements for Texas federal courts along with pro hac vice applications can be found at Local Counsel Requirements - Northern District of Texas, Local Counsel Requirements - Eastern District of Texas, Local Counsel Requirements - Western District of Texas, and Local Counsel Requirements - Southern District of Texas.
Texas Local Patent Rules and Procedures
If you have a patent case in the Eastern District of Texas or the Northern District of Texas, see our white papers Eastern District Texas Patent Rules: Diagram & Checklist and Texas Patent Rules Northern District: Diagram & Checklist for more detail on Texas Local Patent Rules as well as a diagram of each set of rules and a downloadable checklist. For the local patent rules, see the following pages - Eastern District of Texas Local Patent Rules, Northern District of Texas Local Patent Rules, and Southern District of Texas Local Patent Rules.
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