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Brown v. Nyra

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


May 17, 2010

CHRISTOPHER E. BROWN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
NYRA, INC., DEFENDANT.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: James Orenstein, Magistrate Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Louis Mussman ("Mussman") is an attorney who is admitted to practice in the State of Florida and who has applied to be admitted pro hac vice on behalf of the plaintiff in the instant case pursuant to Local Civil Rule 1.3(c). Docket Entry ("DE") 27. He is not admitted to practice before this court. For the reasons set forth below, I deny the motion without prejudice to renewal upon a showing that such admission is appropriate under the circumstances.

Mussman practices law in Florida, where he is a member of the firm Ku & Mussman, P.A. Mussman has been admitted pro hac vice in at least three cases in this district since July 2008. See Brown v. Street Retail, Inc., docket no. 07-cv-3486 (JFB) ("Brown I"), order dated July 29, 2008; Brown v. Nassau County et al., docket no. 07-cv-4811(JFB) ("Brown II"), order dated Jan. 12, 2010; Brown v. St. John's Univ., 08-cv-2218 (ARR) ("Brown III"), order dated Mar. 18, 2009. In each of those prior cases, as in the instant case, Mussman represented plaintiff Christopher E. Brown, who accused institutional defendants of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing to make their physical facilities reasonably accessible to him and to others with disabilities. See Brown I, DE 1 (Complaint), ¶¶ 8-17; Brown II, DE 1 (Complaint), ¶¶ 10-24; Brown III, DE 1 (Complaint), ¶¶ 15-23. It thus appears that Mussman regularly engages in the practice of law in this district. Yet by routinely gaining admission pro hac vice rather than taking the steps necessary to join the bar of this court, Mussman remains immune to much of the disciplinary oversight to which his colleagues are subjected. See Loc. Civ. R. 1.5(b)-(c).

This court routinely grants attorneys who practice elsewhere the courtesy of representing clients who find themselves involved in litigation in this court. But "[a]dmission pro hac vice is by definition, at most, admission for a single proceeding." In re Rappaport, 558 F.2d 87, 88 n.1 (2d Cir. 1977). It is a privilege rather than a right, see Leis v. Flynt, 439 U.S. 438, 441-42 (1979), and one that should not be abused. If Mussman intends to continue representing plaintiff Brown or other clients in this court, he can and should secure the admission to our bar. If, on the other hand, Mussman can demonstrate that his many applications for admission pro hac vice represent an aberration in his normal practice, and that he does not anticipate making future similar applications on a routine basis, then I will of course grant him the same courtesy that is routinely afforded to out-of-state counsel in their occasional visits to this district.*fn1

SO ORDERED.

JAMES ORENSTEIN U.S. Magistrate Judge


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