Can a California attorney file a lawsuit in Ariz.

Can a California attorney file a lawsuit in Ariz.?
Can I hire a California attorney file a lawsuit in Arizona? The dispute involves
an indemnity agreement, which was included in an agreement to sell my

Any big disadvantages to doing this?

I would want to do this because I can get a lot more for my money by hiring a
California attorney. (California has a lot more attorneys and the costs are
substantially lower.) Also, it is just easier to hire a California attorney.

Thank you for your comments.

4 thoughts on “Can a California attorney file a lawsuit in Ariz.

  1. Re: Can a California attorney file a lawsuit in Ariz.?
    A California lawyer cannot file a lawsuit in Arizona, unless he is certified to practice in that state as well (has passed the Arizona bar exam, in other words.) However, if the defendant has sufficient contacts with California, you can sue here. If you win that lawsuit here, and the only assets of the defendant are in Arizona, then you would still need an Arizona lawyer to collect on your judgment.

    Feel free to contact me to discuss this further, if you want to.

    Matthew Mickelson
    Law Offices of Matthew C. Mickelson
    16055 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1230
    Encino, CA 91436

  2. Re: Can a California attorney file a lawsuit in Ariz.?
    Only an attorney admitted to practice law in Arizona could represent you in an Arizona court. However, it may be helpful to considering litigating the case in California and then hiring an Arizona attorney later to register the judgment in Arizona. You might also be able to find a California attorney who could give you a reliable referral to an Arizona attorney.

    Carl Starrett
    Law Offices of Carl H. Starrett II
    1941-C Friendship Drive
    El Cajon, CA 92020-1144

  3. Re: Can a California attorney file a lawsuit in Ariz.?
    I would go a step further and say that only an Arizona lawyer could answer this question, since the question of who may appear and practice before the Arizona courts would be governed by Arizona law.

    Bryan Whipple
    Bryan R. R. Whipple, Attorney at Law
    P O Box 318
    Tomales, CA 94971-0318

  4. Re: Can a California attorney file a lawsuit in Ariz.?
    Generally, only attorneys who are licensed by a given state may practice there. There are probably quite a few California lawyers who are also licensed in Arizona, but offhand I don’t know of a systematic way to search for them.

    Attorneys from one state can be admitted in another for a particular case; such admissions are called “pro hac vice” (pronounced “pro hock VEE-chay”). The requirements can vary by state, but one standard requirement is that they hire a local attorney to work with them. This can make the litigation significantly more or less expensive depending upon how the lawyers divide up the work.

    What I have written so far presumed your case will be in state court. If you prefer to file in federal court (which you can do if you have a federal issue, or if at least $75,000 is at stake *and* no plaintiff resides in the same state as any defendant) the rules may be different. Some federal district courts will admit attorneys who are admitted to practice in the circuit court of appeals within which the district sits. California and Arizona are both within the Ninth Circuit and many California attorneys are licensed in that court, though I don’t know whether that would make them eligible for licensing in the federal courts in Arizona.

    I’m somewhat surprised that you think California attorneys are less expensive than those in Arizona; my sense is that the opposite is true. There surely are fewer attorneys in Arizona, but there are also fewer cases so it does not follow that they would charge more. Further, lawyers in small towns generally charge less than those in big cities and you may be able to find an inexpensive lawyer in an Arizona suburb.

    One other point to keep in mind is that your California lawyer may need to make frequent trips to Arizona for court appearances, depositions, etc. These costs will mount up quickly — especially if you are paying by the hour. You can have the local counsel I mentioned earlier do these things, but then I’m not sure why having a California lawyer would make sense unless you have someone in particular in mind.

    Edward Hoffman
    Law Offices of Edward A. Hoffman
    12301 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 500
    Los Angeles, CA 90025

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