There is NO Way for She-Hulk NOT to Know Who Opposing Counsel is in Trial

She-Hulk issue 8 ends with our legally green hero walking into a Los Angeles Courtroom to find opposing trial counsel is a Matt Murdock. [Nevermind the fact trial is starting within weeks of a complaint on facts from 70 years ago, skipping CMC’s, meet & confers, written discovery, depositions, motion practice, and a mandatory settlement conference. A wrongful death case would take months, if not years, to get to trial.]

SheHulk-CaliforniaProblem with Daredevil being opposing counsel: EXTREMELY unlikely to walk into Court and not know who trial counsel is on a case. You might be surprised at a Case Management Conference if a Big Law firm sent one of its many attorneys to cover a hearing, but every legal form in California requires a lawyer’s name and bar number on it. There has to be an Attorney of Record. Every pleading has at least one lawyer’s name and bar number at the top of the first page and ends with the lawyer’s signature. Complaints, Discovery Requests, Motions, Trial Briefs, all of those filings with a Court, are signed by an attorney. Lawsuits do not have ghost lawyers.

This issue is a tad troubling because She-Hulk does find an attorney licensed in California, as she is a New York attorney, so she could appear Pro Hac Vice, in her defense of Captain America in a wrongful death case from 1940 (the story even addresses the statute of limitations issue). We have the comic go out its way to find another California attorney for this legal requirement. The story does a good job on this point, going so far as having Jennifer Walters call Matt Murdock for help, only to have him decline without disclosing his client is the Plaintiff.

For Jennifer Walters to appear in a California Court, she would need the following, per California Rules of Court Rule 9.40, for a Court in its discretion to admit her to appear:

1. Jennifer Walters is a member in good standing and eligible to practice law in New York (CRC Rule 9.40(a))

2. She-Hulk files a verified application with proof of service per CA Code of Civil Procedure section 1013a on all parties in the case and the California State Bar Office in San Francisco (CRC Rule 9.40(c)(1).

3. The Application must contain the following:

(1) The applicant’s residence and office address;

(2) The courts to which the applicant has been admitted to practice and the dates of admission;

(3) That the applicant is a member in good standing in those courts;

(4) That the applicant is not currently suspended or disbarred in any court;

(5) The title of court and cause in which the applicant has filed an application to appear as counsel pro hac vice in this state in the preceding two years, the date of each application, and whether or not it was granted; and

(6) The name, address, and telephone number of the active member of the State Bar of California who is attorney of record.

CRC Rule 9.40(d).

I am interested to see how the story plays out in the next issue. And just for the record, I would have been happy to have been attorney of record for Captain America if She-Hulk needed a California lawyer for her application per California Rules of Court Rule 9.40.

BetterCallJosh_SehHulk

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Josh Gilliland

Josh Gilliland is a California attorney who focuses his practice on eDiscovery. Josh is the co-creator of The Legal Geeks, which has made the ABA Journal Top Blawg 100 Blawg for 2013 to 2016, and was nominated for Best Podcast for the 2015 Geekie Awards. Josh has presented at legal conferences and comic book conventions across the United States. He also ties a mean bow tie.