Contributed by Fernando M. Pinguelo and Michael T. Reilly, Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A.
Have you recently hired or plan to hire a non New York licensed attorney to serve as in-house counsel1 in your New York office to advise your business about New York legal issues? If so, your in-house counsel must comply with new registration requirements of Part 522 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals within thirty days of the commencement of such employment. The new rule already required existing in-house counsel to register within 90 days of the April 20, 2010 effective date. Non compliance with the registration rule is deemed to be professional misconduct.
Only in-house attorneys who are in good standing in their respective states which also must have similar reciprocity for in-house counsel registration requirements are permitted to submit a registration application in New York. Forty-four other states plus the District of Columbia have similar registration rules. The rule however does not extend to attorneys admitted in foreign jurisdictions.
The registration process begins by submitting an application with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Judicial Department in which the in-house counsel resides or is employed. The application must also be reviewed and verified by an officer, director or the general counsel of your business. If there are any questions concerning the verification or unfamiliarity with any of the requirements, we recommend that outside local counsel be consulted. Applicants are required to comply with the New York Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR Part 1200) and any rules governing conduct in the judicial department where the attorney registration will be issued.
Registered in-house counsel are required to (1) remain in good standing in at least one state or the District of Columbia, (2) notify the Appellate Division of any disciplinary dispositions, (3) register with the New York Office of Court Administration, (4) comply with the biennial registration requirements, including the significant continuing legal education requirements, and (5) abide by the laws and rules that govern attorneys admitted to practice within New York State.
Limits Imposed on Legal Services Provided by In-House Counsel
Registered in-house counsel are limited to (1) proving legal services in New York only to a single employer or its organizational affiliate, (2) not making appearances before courts or tribunals, (3) not engaging in any activity for which pro hac vice admission would be required, (4) not providing legal services to any customers, shareholders, owners, partners, officers, employees, or agents of the employer, and (5) not holding themselves out as attorneys admitted to practiced in New York, except on the employers’ letterhead with a limiting designation.
New York’s adoption of the In-House Counsel Registration rule was long over due and provides the frame work and guidelines for in-house counsel to practice within ethical and legal bounds in New York. Employers may also want to discuss insurance coverage for their newly hired in-house counsel so that the employer and in-house counsel are protected to the extent coverage is available. Some national insurance companies are underwriting policies under the category of Employed Lawyers Professional Liability.
Fernando M. Pinguelo, a Partner at Norris, McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A. and co-Chair of the Response to Electronic Discovery & Information Group at the firm, is a trial lawyer who devotes his practice to complex business lawsuits with an emphasis on how technology impacts them. Mr. Pinguelo founded and contributes to the ABA Journal Award–winning blog, eLessons Learned — Where Law, Technology, & Human Error Collide (www.eLLblog.com). To learn more about New York state and federal legal issues or about Mr. Pinguelo, visit www.NYLocalLaw.com or email him at info@NYLocalLaw.com. Michael T. Reilly, an Associate with Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A., focuses his practice on litigation on cooperative and condominium and real estate matters and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2011 Norris McLaughlin & Marcus, P.A.
This document and any discussions set forth herein are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice, which has to be addressed to particular facts and circumstances involved in any given situation. Review or use of the document and any discussions does not create an attorney-client relationship with the author or publisher. To the extent that this document may contain suggested provisions, they will require modification to suit a particular transaction, jurisdiction or situation. Please consult with an attorney with the appropriate level of experience if you have any questions. Any tax information contained in the document or discussions is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for purposes of avoiding penalties imposed under the United States Internal Revenue Code. Any opinions expressed are those of the author. The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. and its affiliated entities do not take responsibility for the content in this document or discussions and do not make any representation or warranty as to their completeness or accuracy.
©2014 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All rights reserved. Bloomberg Law Reports ® is a registered trademark and service mark of The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).