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Northern District of Texas

David C. Godbey, Chief Judge
Karen Mitchell, Clerk of Court

Attorney FAQs

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  • May I sign a document even though I am not admitted to the Northern District?

    If you sign a document and have not been admitted or granted leave to appear pro hac vice, the judge could unfile your document. Be prepared to apply for admission to the bar or pro hac vice contemporaneously with your first filing and to comply with all other local rules.

  • How do I become admitted?

    Admission instructions are available here.

  • If I have just passed the state bar and have paid my dues and taxes but have not received my bar card, can I be admitted to practice in the Northern District?

    No, the state of Texas does not consider you a licensed attorney until you receive your bar number. As soon as you receive your card, you may apply for admittance.

  • Do I need to complete the questions regarding offenses or grievances on the Application for Admission if the offense or grievance occurred many years ago?


  • May I take the oath before a magistrate judge or bankruptcy judge?

    Yes, but the application for admission must be approved by a U.S. District Judge.

  • What is the fee for admission?

    A list of fees set by the Judicial Conference of the United States is available here.

  • How long does it take to be admitted to the Northern District?

    Within the district, the time it takes to be sworn-in varies by judge. You must make an appointment with the judge of your choice and bring someone who is admitted to practice in the Northern District to introduce you. It would be prudent to allocate 45 minutes for this.

    Outside the district, the entire process generally takes two to six weeks, depending on how quickly a judge is able to review and return the approved application. After you receive the approved application, make arrangements to be sworn in by a judge of another district quickly, since your paperwork must be returned before the Certificate of Good Standing is older than 90 days.

  • How do I seek admission pro hac vice?

    Instructions are available in Local Civil Rule 83.9 and here.

  • What information do you provide on practicing in the Northern District?

    The following publications are available to assist you: Local RulesFederal Rules, and the Civil Justice Expense and Delay Reduction Plan. There are also some helpful instructions on the Filing Information page of our website.

  • How do I get a certificate of good standing?

    Instructions are available here.

  • How do I update my name or address?

    LR 83.13 and LCrR 57.13 require an attorney to update his or her own information using the Maintaining Your Account instructions provided in the ECF Administrative Procedures Manual.

  • How do I become a mediator in your district?

    The Court does not have an approved mediator list. In a case referred to mediation, the presiding judge may select the mediator or allow the parties to agree on one. The Dallas Bar Association (214-969-7066), the Dispute Mediation Center (214-754-0022), or the Tarrant County Bar Association (817-338-4902) can provide information on becoming a mediator in Texas. Information on alternative dispute resolution in Texas and mediator qualifications can be found in Tex. Civ. Prac. & Rem. Code Ann. 154.001, et seq.

  • How do I make a recommendation on ways to improve services provided by the Northern District of Texas?

    There is a section devoted to the Court Advisory Committee on our website where you can present a suggestion or request to be a member.

  • I have a filing deadline, but there is a system outage (either the court's system is down or the filer's system is down). Is there an alternative way to get my document filed?
  • How can I reach a duty judge after hours or on a weekend or holiday, for a bona fide emergency?

    Please see the emergency filing procedures.  If your matter is a bona fide emergency that requires judicial review during non-business hours, email us at or call 214-753-2177 and specifically explain the emergency.  If you have demonstrated that an immediate response is necessary, we will contact you as soon as possible. Absent a specific emergency that requires an immediate response, you will receive a response on the next business day. Our offices are open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding federal holidays

  • How do I suggest changes to the local rules?

    Proposed changes may be submitted through this online form. Please note that the submission deadline for proposed local rules modifications is November 1 (for a September 1 effective date the following year).