In the United States, are there any circumstances in which a lawyer can keep their identity a secret from opposing counsel in the course of representing a client?

In case you think this is just some weird hypothetical: in the NuStar Farms v Hearst Magazine case, an employee of the Nunes family farm has a lawyer who doesn't want her identity revealed to the opposition (or at least the Nunes' family's lawyer claims this to be the case).

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I can't think of any legitimate reason for a lawyer who is representing a party in a lawsuit (as opposed to a transactional matter) to be anonymous. A lawyer representing a party in a lawsuit is required as a matter of course to "enter an appearance" making the representation formally known to the court, and to sign any document filed by that lawyer in the case.

Sometimes parties to lawsuits can be anonymous, but generally not lawyers (except in the case of a person representing themselves who happens to be a lawyer in a case where anonymity would normally be allowed for a represented person or a pro se party who is not a lawyer). Also, even when the parties to a case are formally anonymous, at some stage of the case, their identity is usually revealed to the other side in the case, even if it is anonymous vis-a-vis the public.

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