In Hockenhull v. Law Office Howard Lee Schiff, P.C. 2012 WL 6525504 (D.R.I. 2012), Judge Smith rejected a debt collector’s contention that he could ignore a Notice of Representation simply because the attorney is issued the NoR was not admitted to practice in Rhode Island. Judge Smith explained:
In response to Count I, that Defendants violated 15 U.S.C. § 1692c(a)(2) by making collection calls after having knowledge that Hockenhull was repre-sented by counsel, Schiff argues that because Amador was not licensed to practice law in Rhode Island, never provided Schiff with confirmation that he was a licensed attorney, and never responded to Schiff’s letter, Schiff was “entitled to assume that Mr. Amador did not represent Mrs. Hockenhull.” (Def.’s Mot. 7–10.) Moreover, it argues that because Amador failed to respond in a timely manner, Schiff was enti-tled to presume Hockenhull was no longer repre-sented. (Id. at 10.) Hockenhull, meanwhile, disputes the relevance of Amador not being licensed in Rhode Island and disputes the contention that Amador did not respond to Schiff’s letter. (Pl.’s Resp. 5–8.) Schiff’s arguments, which implicate both legal and factual issues, do not support judgment under Rule 12(c). *3 Regarding the legal issue of whether Amador’s out-of-state law license negated Schiff’s respon-sibility to comply with § 1692c(a)(2), Schiff’s argu-ment fails. Rule 5.5 of the Rhode Island Rules of Professional Conduct, entitled “Unauthorized Practice of Law; Multijurisdictional Practice of Law,” provides: (c) A lawyer admitted in another United States jurisdiction, and not disbarred or suspended from practice in any jurisdiction, may provide legal serv-ices on a temporary basis in this jurisdiction that: …. (2) are in or reasonably related to a pending or potential proceeding before a tribunal in this or an-other jurisdiction, if the lawyer, or a person the lawyer is assisting, is authorized by law or order to appear in such proceeding or reasonably expects to be so authorized. R.I. Supreme Court Rules of Professional Con-duct, Article V, Rule 5.5(c)(2) (emphasis added.) This Rule allows for an outof-state attorney to repre-sent a Rhode Island resident in a matter which he anticipates will lead to the filing of a lawsuit and pro hac vice motion; that is exactly the situation pre-sented here. See id. (Commentary). Conversely, un-der Schiff’s theory, Amador would be required to seek pro hac vice admission on a yet-to-be-filed case before he can prepare for the filing of the lawsuit which may or may not end up being filed. This not only would be a waste of resources, it would make no sense; this is not what the Rules require.