Nevada House Counsel are governed by Nevada Supreme Court Rule 49.10. This rule enables attorneys who are not licensed in the state of Nevada to practice in Nevada as house counsel. There are certain requirements to be eligible under this rule. To be eligible as a Nevada house counsel an out-of-state attorney have to:
- Possess a juris doctorate degree from a law school approved by the ABA
- Be members in good standing of any bar where they are considered a member
- All CLE requirements must be met in the bars where the attorney is currently a member
- Complete an application
- Certify they have read the Nevada Code of Professional Conduct
- Pay the application fee as well as any dues that are paid by the active members of the Nevada bar.
- Certification from their employer to the Nevada bar that the attorney will be acting or is employed as in house counsel full-time
House Counsel Practice
To satisfy the above rule attorneys must be employed as an in house counsel for an association/company, whether that is for profit or non-profit organization is immaterial as long as the actual practice of the company is not itself for legal services. As an in house counsel, the attorneys who are admitted under the aforementioned rule, receive all the benefits of actual members of the Nevada bar. This also includes being responsible for any disciplinary issues as well. They do not have the ability to be involved in any activities that require Nevada Pro Hac Vice Admission, unless the state of Nevada approves it or it is for pro bono services. Basically, Nevada house counsel cannot give legal services to any individual or entity other than their employer, or their fellow coworkers. In fact, Nevada's rules on house counsel are more strict than other state. Nevada house counsel cannot engage in the following:
- Nevada house counsel cannot appear as a counsel of record for the employer in Nevada in any court
- Before any agency
- For mediation
- For any other alternative dispute situation that is court ordered
- Nevada house counsel can also not indicate that they are an attorney that can practice law in the public.
- All business cards of the Nevada house counsel must show that the house counsel is certified to practice in Nevada only as a governmental counsel or as Nevada in house counsel.
Reporting to the Nevada Bar
House counsel's are required to report to the Nevada Bar any changes in their bar membership status or employment. They must also report any sanctions that are being brought against them. This is all required to be submitted to the bar within 30 days. If an attorney is disbarred in any jurisdiction where they are a member their ability to practice as an in house counsel is also revoked in Nevada. Their ability to practice will also be revoked if they are no longer employed by the same company they were issued admittance with.
In house counsel must renew their registration certificate as well as pay all dues and renewal fees by March 1 of each year. If in house counsel obtains employment at another organization they also must amend their registration certificate. Failure to renew will force the Nevada house counsel to pay an additional late fee.
The renewal must include the following
- The attorney is still in good standing in all the jurisdictions where they are admitted to practice law
- The attorney is employed by the same employer
- The attorney has complied with the CLE requirements under Nevada bar rules
- All fees have been paid