United States District Court, S.D. Mississippi, Northern Division
CRYESHA MCDONALD and CHANTAL LEWIS on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated PLAINTIFFS
TRUSTMARK NATIONAL BANK DEFENDANT
KEITH BALL UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
cause is before the Court on three motions: Defendant
Trustmark National Bank's Motion to Disqualify Jeffrey
Kaliel and Sophia Gold as Counsel  and Plaintiffs'
Motions for Sophia Gold and Jeffrey Kaliel to be Admitted
Pro Hac Vice,  and . After considering the
law and the parties' filings, the Court finds as follows.
December 10, 2018, Plaintiffs Cryesha McDonald and Chantal
Lewis filed a complaint against Trustmark National Bank
(“Trustmark”). . Attorney Christopher J. Weldy
of the Weldy Law Firm, PLLC, in Brandon, Mississippi, signed
the Complaint.  at 32. Weldy is licensed to practice law
in the State of Mississippi and before this Court. The names
of two other attorneys appear below Weldy's signature:
Jeffrey Kaliel and Sophia Gold of Washington, D.C.
Id. Neither Kaliel nor Gold are licensed to practice
in Mississippi. However, beside each of their names on the
complaint is the following notation: “to seek admission
Pro Hac Vice.” Id. Kaliel and Gold
have since each filed an application to be admitted pro
hac vice. Trustmark opposes both motions and contends
that L.U.Civ.R. 83.1 requires their disqualification from
Uniform Civil Rule 83.1(d)(7)(E) states:
The court has discretion whether to grant applications for
admission pro hac vice and to set the terms and
conditions of admission. An application ordinarily should be
granted unless the court finds reasons to believe that . . .
admission should be denied because the applicant had, before
the application, filed or appeared in the federal court
without having secured approval under these rules.
contends that Kaliel and Gold “appeared” before
this Court prior to being admitted pro hac vice
because their names were listed on the complaint. Trustmark
does not object to any other aspect of Kaliel and Gold's
pro hac vice application, and the Court finds the
applications to otherwise be in good order.
Rule 83.1 gives the Court discretion when admitting attorneys
pro hac vice. The Court finds that Kaliel and
Gold's applications should be granted. While their names
appear on the complaint, Weldy is the attorney who actually
signed it. Moreover, neither Kaliel nor Gold made any
attempt to deceive the Court or represent themselves to be
Mississippi-licensed attorneys. Instead, they made clear that
they intended to file applications for admission pro hac
vice. Additionally, since Weldy's filing of this
case, neither Kaliel nor Gold has taken any action that could
be considered an “appearance” in this matter or
the unauthorized practice of law. While Kaliel and Gold may
have technically made an “appearance” under
Mississippi law by including their names on the complaint,
the Court finds no reasons to believe that this should result
in their disqualification under the circumstances.
See L.U.Civ.R. 83.1(d)(7).
Trustmark's Motion to Disqualify Jeffrey Kaliel and
Sophia Gold as Counsel  is denied. Plaintiffs' Motions
for Sophia Gold and Jeffrey Kaliel to be Admitted Pro Hac
Vice,  and , are granted.
 In December 2018, the Court mistakenly
published a draft copy of proposed changes to L.U.Civ.R. 83.1
on its website in place of the actual rules. Plaintiffs based
their response to the Motion to Disqualify on that draft
copy. The Court recognizes that Plaintiffs' reliance on
the draft copy was the result of the Court's error. The
correct version of the Local Rules has since been
re-published to the Court's website.
 This is one of several facts that
distinguishes the case sub judice from Reech v.
Sullivan, No. 3:18-CV-35-HSO-LRA, 2018 WL 1698303
(S.D.Miss. Apr. 5, 2018). In Reech, the non-resident
attorney actually signed the complaint. Id. at *2.
Here, Kaliel and Gold did not.  at 32. Additionally, in
Reech the non-resident attorney executed notices and
requests for waiver of service of process, directed them to
Defendants, and requested that they ...