Pro Hac Vice

Pro Hac Vice

Literal Meaning

For this occasion.

Explanation & Origin

Pro Hac Vice  is a Latin term which literally translates into for this occasion or for this event is a legal term usually referring to a practice in common law jurisdictions, whereby a lawyer who has not been admitted to practice in a certain jurisdiction is allowed to participate in a particular case in that jurisdiction. 

Pro hac vice is a legal term for adding an attorney to a case in a jurisdiction in which he or she is not licensed to practice in such a way that the attorney does not commit unauthorized practice of law. Pro hac vice admission is a method that resolves the tension between the growing need to practice across state lines, especially as the world goes digital, and the interest of local courts to ensure that attorneys who practice before them are qualified to both advise their clients on local laws and comply with local rules of practice and custom. Pro hac vice is for only for that particular occasion the lawyers can practice in a state where they are not enrolled in.

Illustration

a lawyer for Gujarat wishes to represent a client in Maharashtra then he will be admitted pro hac vice in the court of Maharashtra even though he does not come under the Maharashtra State Bar Counsel.

Case Reference

In the case Government Of India By Secretary vs Jeevaraj Alva And Ors[1] it was observed that When accident occurs by reason of the negligent driving of a vehicle hired out with its driver to another person, difficult questions may arise whether the owner or the hirer is responsible. The facts of one case can never rule another case and are only useful so far as similarity affects and are a help and guide to decision. The general employer of servants is normally liable, as being their master, for all torts committed by them in the course of their employment and within the scope of their authority, and his liability is not affected by the existence of a contract between him and some other person for the temporary employment of the servants in work for that person or for the hiring of the servants to that person. Where however, the relationship of master and servant has been constituted pro hac vice (for the turn of the occasion) between the temporary employer and the contractors’ servant, the temporary employer or the hirer is vicariously liable for the acts of the contractor’s servant committed in the course of his employment and within the scope of his authority. There being a presumption against such a transfer of a servant as to make the hirer or the person on whose behalf the servant is temporarily working responsible, a heavy burden rests upon the party seeking to establish that the relationship of master and servant has been constituted pro hac vice between the temporary employer and the contractor’s servant. To succeed in discharging the burden, it must be shown that pro hac vicethe temporary employer was in the position of a Master; i.e. he not only could give directions as to what work the servant had to perform but had the right to control how the work should be done. Whether or not the temporary employer had such a right in any particular case is a question of fact.

In the case of The Oriental Insurance Company vs Pandurangan  And Others[2] it was observed that To make the hirer liable the plaintiff has to establish that the hirer had a right not only to give direction as to what work the driver of the vehicle had to perform, but also had the right to control how he should drive the vehicle. That question primarily rests on the broad effect of the agreement between the owner of the vehicle and the general employer of the driver of the vehicle on the one hand and the hirer.Held after considering the facts and the agreement between the hirer and the owner of the vehicle that the plaintiffs failed to establish that the relationship of master and servant had been constituted Pro Hac Vice between the hirer and the driver.” Where, under a contract, a vehicle is hired put. with its driver to another person, the owner of the vehicle exercises his authority by delegating to his driver the discretion in regard to the manner of driving. Ordinarily when a vehicle with its driver is hired, the driver continues to exercise his own discretion which had been vested in him by his regular employer when he was sent out with the vehicle. If? however, the hirers intervene to give directions as to how to drive for which they have no authority to give, and the driver Pro Hac Vice complies with them, with the result that a third party is negligently damaged, the hirers may be liable as joint tort-feasors.Also in this case the reference of the above case was taken.

In the case of Manager, M/S. Pyarchand vs Omkar Laxman Thange & Ors[3] it was observed In such cases where a third party engages another person’s employee it is the general employer who is normally liable for the tortuous acts committed by the employee and his liability is not affected by the existence of a contract between him and the third party under which the services of the employee are lent or hired out for a temporary period to such third party. In order to absolve the employer from the liability and to make the person who. temporarily engages the employee or hires his services it is necessary to prove that the relationship of master and servant was temporarily constituted between such third party and the employee, and that it existed at the time when the tortuous act was committed by the employee. There is, however, a presumption against there being such a transfer of an employee as to make the hirer or the person on whose behalf the employee is temporarily working and a heavy burden rests on the party seeking to establish that the relationship of master and servant has been constituted pro hac vice between the temporary employer and the employee In cases where an employer has hired out or lent the services of his employee for a specific work and such an employee has caused damage to another person by his tortuous act, the question often arises as to who of the two, i.e. the employer or the person to whom such services are hired out or lent.

Edited by Vigneshwar Ramasubramania

Approved & Published – Sakshi Raje

Reference

[1] AIR 1970 Kant 13

[2] AIR 1997 Mad 195

[3] 1970 AIR 823

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