Several hundred Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) protestors are facing criminal prosecution in North Dakota, but there are not enough attorneys in North Dakota to represent them. A consortium of nonprofits (which includes among others the National Lawyers Guild and the ACLU) has petitioned the North Dakota Supreme Court to loosen the requirements to enable more out-of-state practitioners to come in and provide criminal defense representation to the protestors. The Petition was necessary, because the pro hac vice admission procedure in North Dakota is extremely time consuming, strict, and expensive. On top of that, all out-of-state attorneys must associate with local counsel, whose attendance is required at all court appearances. There are only a limited number of attorneys in North Dakota who are willing and able to make this type of commitment. APBCo has submitted comments to the North Dakota Supreme Court, supporting the changes requested in the Petition as an important way to ensure access to justice and a fair process in the state’s criminal justice system. Attached is a copy of our comment letter. Please follow this link to read the Petition and the detailed supporting documents which outline the difficulties out-of-state practitioners have faced in trying to get temporary admission to practice in North Dakota.

http://www.ndcourts.gov/Court/Notices/20160436/notice.htm

DAPL