Last month a New Jersey appellate court found that despite local counsel being responsible for the course of litigation conducted by pro hac vice counsel, local counsel does not have absolute liability for out-of-state counsel’s misdeeds. Masone v. Levine, N.J. Super. Ct., A.D., download file. The Court relied on federal cases in New Jersey that reject a per se rule penalizing local counsel for out-of-state counsel’s wrongful behavior. See Maldonado v. State, 225 F.R.D. 120 (D.N.J. 2004).
This issue addressed by the Masone court is especially important in Delaware where the courts require active participation by local counsel to make certain that out-of-state counsel are conforming to the high standards of conduct that the Delaware courts expect of lawyers in Delaware courts.