Rules - Local Rules

 
    Civil Rules TOC

CIVIL RULES

LR 83.1 Application of Rules by a Presiding Judge

Notwithstanding the local civil rules, a presiding judge may direct the parties to proceed in any manner that the judge deems just and expeditious.

LR 83.2 Miscellaneous and Special Orders

The clerk shall maintain in each division a copy of all miscellaneous and special orders adopted by the court, and shall make these orders available for inspection and copying.

LR 83.3 Assignment of Cases

The district judges shall determine the method by which all cases are assigned to individual judges.

LR 83.4 Conduct of Attorneys at Trial or Hearing

Unless the presiding judge otherwise directs, during a trial or hearing, attorneys must:

  1. stand when making objections or otherwise addressing the presiding judge;
  2. use the lectern while examining or cross-examining witnesses;
  3. when examining a witness, refrain from making statements, comments, or remarks before or after asking a question;
  4. limit to one attorney for each party the examination or cross-examination of a witness; and
  5. in making an objection, state plainly and briefly the grounds for objecting and not offer argument unless requested by the presiding judge.

LR 83.5 Clerk's Fees [Repealed 9-1-04]

LR 83.6 Applications to Proceed In Forma Pauperis

A party desiring to proceed without prepayment of fees or costs must complete the appropriate form and file it with the clerk.

LR 83.7 Admission of Attorneys

Attorneys must fulfill the following requirements to be admitted to practice in this court:

  1. Eligibility for Admission. Any attorney licensed to practice law by the Supreme Court of Texas, or by the highest court of any state or the District of Columbia, may be admitted to the bar of this court if the attorney is of good personal and professional character and is a member in good standing of the bar where the attorney is licensed.
  2. Procedure for Admission. Attorneys desiring admission to the bar of this court must complete an application for admission, to be approved by a district judge, and except as provided in subsection (c) of this rule, be introduced by a member in good standing of the bar of this court, and take the required oath or affirmation before a judge of this court. After the oath or affirmation is administered, and the applicant has paid the appropriate fee, the clerk shall issue a certificate stating that the attorney is admitted to practice before this court.
  3. Admission Before Judges of Other Districts. Any nonresident attorney who has completed all requirements for admission to the bar of this court may, with the approval of a district judge of the division where the application is pending, have the oath of admission administered by a judge in another district. The nonresident attorney must file the oath with the clerk and pay the appropriate fee before the attorney's name will be added to the roll of attorneys for this district.
  4. Admission is Discretionary. All admissions to practice before this court shall be discretionary with the district judge reviewing the application for admission.

LR 83.8 Loss of Membership and Discipline of Attorneys

  1. Loss of Membership.  A member of the bar of this court is subject to suspension or disbarment by the court under the following circumstances:
    1. if for any reason other than nonpayment of dues, failure to meet continuing legal education requirements, or voluntary resignation unrelated to a disciplinary proceeding or problem, an attorney loses, either temporarily or permanently, the right to practice law before:
      1. the courts of the State of Texas;
      2. the highest court of any other state or the District of Columbia; or
      3. any federal court; or
    2. if an attorney fails to maintain the right to practice law before the highest court of at least one state or the District of Columbia, unless the member's failure to maintain such right results from nonpayment of dues or failure to meet continuing legal education requirements.
  2. Grounds for Disciplinary Action. A presiding judge, after giving opportunity to show cause to the contrary, may take any appropriate disciplinary action against a member of the bar for:
    1. conduct unbecoming a member of the bar;
    2. failure to comply with any rule or order of this court;
    3. unethical behavior;
    4. inability to conduct litigation properly;
    5. conviction by any court of a felony or crime involving dishonesty or false statement; or
    6. having been publicly or privately disciplined by any court, bar, court agency or committee.
  3. Appeal of Disciplinary Action [Repealed 9-1-04]  
  4. Reporting by Members. Any member of the bar of this court who has:
    1. lost or relinquished, temporarily or permanently, the right to practice in any court of record;
    2. been disciplined, publicly or privately, by any court, bar, court agency, or committee; or
    3. been convicted of a felony or crime involving dishonesty or false statement,
    shall promptly report such fact in writing to the clerk, supplying full details and copies of all pertinent documents reflecting, or explaining, such action.
  5. Unethical Behavior. The term "unethical behavior," as used in this rule, means conduct undertaken in or related to a civil action in this court that violates the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.
  6. Readmission. An attorney applying for readmission to the bar of this court must submit an application for readmission, together with the following materials:
    1. a full disclosure concerning the attorney's loss or relinquishment of membership in the bar of this court; and
    2. all information required by subsection (d) of this rule concerning facts that occurred prior to the date of application for readmission.
  7. Appointment of Counsel. A presiding judge shall have the right to appoint any member of the court's bar to assist in the handling of any proceeding contemplated by or resulting from this rule. An attorney appointed under this rule shall perform as requested unless relieved from doing so. An attorney desiring relief from appointment must move for such relief, which will be granted only upon a showing of good cause.
  8. Reciprocal Discipline.
    1. A member of the bar who is subject to suspension or disbarment under LR 83.8(a) must be given written notice by the chief judge, or by a district judge designated by the chief judge, that the court intends to suspend or disbar the member. The notice must identify the ground for imposing reciprocal discipline and provide the member an opportunity to show cause, within the time prescribed by the notice, why the member should not be suspended or disbarred.
    2. If the member does not respond to the notice, or responds but does not oppose reciprocal discipline, the chief judge or a designee district judge may enter an appropriate order after the prescribed time for a response expires or the response is received.
    3. If the member responds and, in whole or in part, opposes reciprocal discipline, the chief judge, or a district judge designated by the chief judge, must designate three district judges to hear the matter. The decision of a majority of the three-judge panel concerning the appropriate discipline shall be the final ruling of this court.

LR 83.9 Attorneys Not Admitted to Practice Before this Court

  1. Eligibility to Appear. An attorney who is licensed to practice law by the highest court of any state or the District of Columbia, but who is not admitted to practice before this court, may represent a party in proceedings in this court only by permission of the presiding judge.
  2. Application to Appear. Unless exempted by LR 83.11, an attorney who is not admitted to practice in this court, who desires to appear as counsel in a case, and who is eligible pursuant to subsection (a) of this rule to appear, shall apply for admission pro hac vice on a court-approved form and pay the applicable fee to the clerk.
  3. Regulation of Attorneys Admitted Pro Hac Vice. By appearing in any case, an attorney becomes subject to the rules of this court.

LR 83.10 Requirement of Local Counsel

  1. Local Counsel Required. Unless exempted by LR 83.11, local counsel is required in all cases where an attorney appearing in a case does not reside or maintain the attorney’s principal office in this district. "Local counsel" means a member of the bar of this court who resides or maintains the attorney's principal office in this district and whose residence or principal office is located within 50 miles of the courthouse in the division in which the case is pending. Attorneys desiring to proceed without local counsel must obtain leave from the presiding judge. If the request for leave is denied, written designation of local counsel must be filed within 14 days of the denial.
  2. Duties of Local Counsel. Local counsel must be authorized to present and argue a party's position at any hearing called by the presiding judge. Local counsel must also be able to perform, on behalf of the party represented, any other duty required by the presiding judge or the local rules of this court.

LR 83.11 Exemption from Admission to Practice, and from Requirement of Local Counsel, for Attorneys Appearing on Behalf of the United States Justice Department or the Attorney General of the State of Texas

Unless the presiding judge otherwise directs, an attorney appearing on behalf of the United States Justice Department or the Attorney General of the State of Texas, and who is eligible pursuant to LR 83.9(a) to appear in this court, shall be exempt from the requirements of LR 83.9(b) and 83.10, but shall otherwise be subject to all requirements applicable to attorneys who have been granted leave to appear pro hac vice.

LR 83.12 Withdrawal of Attorney

  1. Except as provided in subsection (b) or (c) of this rule, an attorney desiring to withdraw in any case must file a motion to withdraw. This motion must, in addition to the matters required by LR 7.1, specify the reasons requiring withdrawal and provide the name and address of the succeeding attorney. If the succeeding attorney is not known, the motion must set forth the name, address, and telephone number of the client and either bear the client's signature approving withdrawal or state specifically why, after due diligence, the attorney was unable to obtain the client's signature.
  2. When an Assistant United States Attorney enters an appearance in a case, another Assistant United States Attorney may replace the attorney by filing a notice of substitution that identifies the attorney being replaced. Unless the presiding judge otherwise directs, the notice effects the withdrawal of the attorney being replaced.
  3. When the Federal Public Defender is appointed to represent a party and an Assistant Federal Public Defender enters an appearance in the case, another Assistant Federal Public Defender may replace the attorney who has entered an appearance by filing a notice of substitution that identifies the attorney being replaced. Unless the presiding judge otherwise directs, the notice effects the withdrawal of the attorney being replaced.

LR 83.13 Change of Contact Information or Name

  1. Attorney Who is Not a Registered User of ECF. When an attorney who is not a registered user of ECF changes the attorney's business address, e-mail address, telephone number, facsimile number, or name, the attorney must promptly notify the clerk, using the approved method, and the presiding judge, in writing, in each pending case.
  2. Attorney Who is a Registered User of ECF. When an attorney who is a registered user of ECF changes the attorney's business address, e-mail address, telephone number, facsimile number, or name, the attorney must promptly change this information in ECF, following procedures set forth in the ECF Administrative Procedures Manual.

LR 83.14 Parties Proceeding Pro Se   

Any party proceeding on the party's own behalf is considered pro se. Pro se parties must read and follow the local civil rules of this court and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

LR 83.15 Attorney as a Witness [Repealed 9-1-04]

LR 83.16 Dress and Conduct   

All persons present in a courtroom where a trial, hearing, or other proceeding is in progress must dress and conduct themselves in a manner demonstrating respect for the court. The presiding judge shall have the discretion to establish appropriate standards of dress and conduct.

LR 83.17 Weapons Forbidden   

Firearms and other weapons are prohibited in areas of buildings designated for court use. Such weapons may be carried by the United States Marshal, the marshal's deputies, courtroom security personnel, and other persons to whom a presiding judge has given approval.

LR 83.18 Photographs, Broadcasting, Recording, and Television Forbidden   

No person may photograph, electronically record, televise, or broadcast a judicial proceeding. This rule shall not apply to ceremonial proceedings or electronic recordings by an official court reporter or other authorized court personnel.

    Civil Rules TOC