can a CA attorney file a "motion to quash service of process & set aside judgment" in virginia general district court if the case is in virginia or does a licensed Virginia attorney need to file on our behalf (we are a party to a suit in virginia court)?
2 Answers from Attorneys
You would need a Virginia lawyer. Being admitted in California means that a lawyer may practice in California's courts. It does not mean she can represent California clients nationwide.
The Virginia court might admit a California lawyer for purposes of this particular case via a procedure is called admission pro hac vice. But she would probably still be required to work with a Virginia lawyer, so you would end up paying for both of them.
Besides, the case -- including the motion to quash -- will be governed by Virginia procedural law. A California lawyer would have to spend time learning very basic rules that Virginia lawyers already know. And unless she appears by telephone or video link (which might not even be an option), she would also have to spend time and money traveling to Virginia for the hearing. All of this would cost money. It almost certainly makes more sense to hire a Virginia lawyer.
And if you lose the motion to quash, you will need to continue defending yourself in the Virginia court. Unless the dispute between you and the plaintiff is governed by California law (as, for example, if it arises from a contract that says California law applies to any resulting disputes), you will want a lawyer who knows the applicable laws of Virginia.
If the attorney is the one representing himself, he can file the motion to quash, otherwise he cannot if he is doing it on the behalf of someone else. I knew a California attorney that took a memo that I wrote and converted to his own motion to quash for a case in Massachusetts where that attorney was being sued.