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Colorado lawyer loses Utah Pro Hac offer after 23 appearances

A Colorado attorney’s motion seeking pro hac vice admission to defend an insurer in Utah federal court was denied because after 23 previous admissions over the past five years, he has failed to show cause not to seek admission to the bar in the State of Utah.

Jack Englert Jr. of Holland & Hart LLP sought admission to represent Life Insurance Co. of North American in a lawsuit under the Employees Retirement Income Security Act alleging that it refused to provide benefits in under a group accidental death and dismemberment insurance policy. Co-attorney Karina Sargsian offered Englert’s admission, citing her ERISA specialization as a reason for not being admitted to Utah.

Judge Jared C. Bennett of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah denied that motion Thursday, saying Englert “fails to demonstrate ‘good cause’ sufficient to warrant an exception” to the court’s local rules on eligibility requirements for state attorneys.

Utah limits pro hac vice admission to attorneys who have already been admitted pro hac vice in three unrelated cases in the past five years, unless there is a good reason not to seek the admission to the state bar.

Englert’s reasons don’t show a good reason why he should be exempt from Utah’s state bar requirements, Bennett said. Englert’s numerous confessions upset the meaning of the Latin phrase – which means “for this occasion or for a particular purpose”, he said.

Englert’s specialty in ERISA business “is irrelevant to show why he should be exempt from membership and regulation by the Utah Bar, especially given the volume of business he has. brought before this court,” Bennett said.

Englert and Sargsian did not respond to Bloomberg Law’s request for comment on Friday.

The case is Scott v. Life Insurance Co. of North America, D. Utah, No. 2:22-cv-00031-JCB, 1/27/22.