Argued: March 9, 2017
A. Foster, attorney general (Sean P. Gill, assistant attorney
general, on the brief and orally), for the State.
Christopher M. Johnson, chief appellate defender, of Concord,
on the brief and orally, for the defendant.
defendant, Carlos Gonzalez, III, appeals his convictions on
two counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault.
See RSA 632-A:2 (2016). The defendant argues that
the Trial Court (Wageling, J.) erred when it vacated
the pro hac vice admission of two out-of-state
attorneys, thereby depriving him of his right to chosen
counsel under Part I, Article 15 of the State Constitution
and the Sixth Amendment to the Federal Constitution. Because
we conclude that the trial court sustainably exercised its
discretion when it found that its interest in the fair,
efficient, and orderly administration of justice outweighed
the defendant's right to counsel of his choice, we
record reflects the following facts. A grand jury indicted
the defendant on fifteen counts of aggravated felonious
sexual assault alleged to have occurred on various occasions
between 1992 and 1994. The victim, L.J., was the
defendant's stepdaughter. L.J. was between ten and twelve
years old at the time of the assaults. At that time, the
defendant, L.J., her sister, and her mother all resided
than a year prior to trial, the defendant, through his New
Hampshire counsel, Attorney Kurt Olsen, moved for the
admission of two out-of-state attorneys for the limited
purpose of representing him in only this case. See Super.
Ct. Crim. R. 19(a) (repealed eff. Mar. 1, 2016)
("An attorney, who is not a member of the Bar of this
State . . . shall not be allowed to engage in the trial or
hearing in any case, except on application to appear pro
hac vice . . . ."). Rule 19 required the
out-of-state attorney to file a verified application with the
court in which she or he wished to appear, detailing, among
other things, the applicant's disciplinary history and
prior pro hac vice appearances here and in other
jurisdictions. Super. Ct. Crim. R. 19(b). Rule 19(c)
court has discretion as to whether to grant applications for
admission pro hac vice. An application ordinarily
should be granted unless the court finds reason to believe
(1) such admission may be detrimental to the prompt, fair and
efficient administration of justice;
(2) such admission may be detrimental to the legitimate
interests of parties to the proceedings other than the
client(s) the applicant proposes to represent;
(3) one or more of the clients the applicant proposes to
represent may be at risk of receiving inadequate
representation and cannot adequately appreciate that risk; or
(4) the applicant has engaged in such frequent appearances as
to constitute common practice in this State.
Super. Ct. Crim. R. 19(c). The defendant asked the
trial court to allow the pro hac vice admission of
Attorneys Alexandria and Walter Jacobs, who are father and
daughter, and both of whom were licensed attorneys in
Massachusetts at that time. In December 2013, the trial court
granted Alexandria's application for pro hac
vice admission, subject to the condition that local
counsel be present at all hearings. Subsequently, in March
2014, the trial court granted Walter's application.
pre-trial hearing in April 2014, the State raised concerns
about the relationship that Walter and Alexandria had with
the victim and her family between 1992 and 1994.
Specifically, the State represented that Walter was
L.J.'s primary care physician during the time of the
assaults, and that he was a close friend of the defendant at
that time. The State also represented that Alexandria was a
close friend of L.J. and her sister during the same time
period. Based upon these relationships, the State expressed
concern about the propriety of the representation of the
defendant by Walter and Alexandria. Due to this concern, and
in light of the fact that the defendant was also represented
by local counsel, the State notified the court that it
intended to file a motion to preclude Walter and Alexandria
from cross-examining L.J. and her sister at trial.
response to the concerns raised by the State, Walter
confirmed that L.J. was his patient during the relevant time
period, but disputed that he served as L.J.'s primary
care physician. He asserted that his treatment of L.J. was
not "related to any issues that are in this case"
and that, within the context of the physician-patient
relationship, they had no "communication about anything
related to this case whatsoever." Alexandria also
minimized the nature of her relationship with L.J. and her
sister, asserting that it was only an "acquaintanceship
due to my father and their stepfather being friends."
She represented that it had been over a decade since she had
contact with L.J. or her sister, and that she was "never
informed of any kind of an allegation." Walter and
Alexandria argued that their relationships with ...