WINFIELD – Three little Latin words opened the doors of the Putnam County courthouse to Kevin Oncken of San Antonio, Texas.
Oncken practiced "pro hac vice." It means, for this purpose. Attorneys pronounce it pro hock veechay.
Attorneys who do not belong to the West Virginia Bar must apply for admission pro hac vice before they can practice law in West Virginia.
A pro hac vice order covers only one case. An outsider with many cases must apply in each case.
Each application identifies a sponsoring attorney in West Virginia.
Each application includes $150 for the West Virginia State Bar.
Pro hac vice admission is a privilege and not a right, as Circuit Judge Edward Eagloski told Oncken at a May 11 hearing.
Eagloski vacated orders allowing Oncken to defend Putnam General Hospital in malpractice suits.