Michigan and Oregon Adopt Pro Hac Vice Court Rules for ICWA Cases

Written by: Kathryn Fort

Primary Source : Turtle Talk, May 25, 2017

This spring both Michigan and Oregon have changed their court rules to allow out of state attorneys to appear in ICWA cases on behalf of a tribe (Michigan and Oregon) or parent or Indian custodian (Oregon). Both waive the pro hac fees, and do not require the attorneys to associate with local counsel.

Michigan’s rule, MCR 8.126, is here. The rule is effective September 1.

Oregon’s rule, UTCR 3. 170(9), is here. The rule is effective August 1.

In both of these cases, the rule was a result of a recommendation and work from the respective Tribal State Judicial Forums.

In the hopes this is something other states may be willing to take on (hi California! Oh hey, Washington!), we’ve started a page with resources here.

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Kathryn Fort
Kathryn (Kate) E. Fort is the Staff Attorney and Adjunct Professor for the Indigenous Law and Policy Center at Michigan State University College of Law. She joined the Center in 2005 as the Indigenous Law Fellow. In her role with the Center, she co-teaches an experiential learning class, researches and writes on behalf of Center clients and on topics in federal Indian law and manages administrative aspects of the Center. Ms. Fort has written articles on laches and land claims and the Indian Child Welfare Act. Ms. Fort graduated magna cum laude from Michigan State University College of Law with the Certificate in Indigenous Law, and is licensed to practice law in Michigan. Prior to law school, Ms. Fort worked for Congresswoman Lois Capps' 1998 congressional campaign, the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 Presidential race, the National Association of Letter Carriers, and the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. She received her B.A. in History with honors from Hollins University in Roanoke, Virginia.