senate Bill S1998

Signed by Governor Amended

Changes the penalty for practicing or appearing as an attorney-at-law without being admitted and registered to a felony

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed by Governor
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actions

  • 14 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 01 / Mar / 2011
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.123
  • 02 / Mar / 2011
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 03 / Mar / 2011
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 07 / Mar / 2011
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 07 / Mar / 2011
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 07 / Mar / 2011
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • DIED IN ASSEMBLY
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 18 / Jan / 2012
    • 1ST REPORT CAL.38
  • 19 / Jan / 2012
    • 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • 23 / Jan / 2012
    • ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • 30 / Mar / 2012
    • AMENDED ON THIRD READING 1998A
  • 01 / May / 2012
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 01 / May / 2012
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 02 / May / 2012
    • REFERRED TO JUDICIARY
  • 20 / Jun / 2012
    • SUBSTITUTED FOR A5700A
  • 20 / Jun / 2012
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING RULES CAL.441
  • 20 / Jun / 2012
    • PASSED ASSEMBLY
  • 20 / Jun / 2012
    • RETURNED TO SENATE
  • 05 / Dec / 2012
    • DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
  • 12 / Dec / 2012
    • SIGNED CHAP.492
  • 12 / Dec / 2012
    • APPROVAL MEMO.20

Summary

Provides that practicing or appearing as an attorney-at-law without being admitted and registered shall be a class E felony instead of a misdemeanor.

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Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5700
Versions:
S1998
S1998A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Law Section:
Judiciary Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§478, 485, 486 & 495, add §485-a, Judy L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Cycle:
S41

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1998

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the judiciary law, in relation to practicing or appearing as an
attorney-at-law without being admitted and registered

PURPOSE:
The purpose of this legislation is to amend the Judiciary Law to make
the unlawful practice of law a class E felony.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one of this legislation would amend section 478 of the
Judiciary Law to provide that any person practicing or appearing as
an attorney-at-law or as an attorney and counselor-at-law (or
equivalent terms) without having first been duly and regularly
licensed and admitted to practice law in the courts of record of this
state, and without having taken the constitutional oath would be
guilty of a class E felony.

Section two would amend section 485 of the Judiciary Law, to remove
section 478 from the sections which if violated would constitute a
misdemeanor.

EXISTING LAW:
Currently, those persons who hold themselves out as an attorney-at-law
or counselor-at-law without being admitted and registered are guilty
of a misdemeanor.

JUSTIFICATION:
The purpose of this legislation is to provide consistency within the
law regarding the unauthorized practice of a profession. Under section
6512 of the Education Law, anyone not authorized to practice under
Title VIII who practices or holds himself (or herself) out as being
able to practice in any profession for which a license is required
commits a class E felony.
Examples of those professionals licensed under Title VIII of the
Education Law include physicians, chiropractors, dentists,
veterinarians, physical therapists, pharmacists, registered
professional nurses, licensed practical nurses, licensed master
social workers, certified public accountants. landscape architects,
certified shorthand reporters, etc.

Licenses and registration ensure the public that a certain level of
competency has been achieved to practice within a profession.
Certainly, the unlawful practice of law should constitute a crime
equivalent to the unauthorized practice of a profession.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2009-2010 Passed Senate (S/41/A.1643)
2005-2006 Passed Senate (S.1865/A.5l69)
2007-2008 Passed Senate (S.2358/A.8563)

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to the State.


EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have
become a law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  1998

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 14, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. FUSCHILLO, LARKIN, SALAND -- read twice and ordered
  printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on  Judici-
  ary

AN  ACT to amend the judiciary law, in relation to practicing or appear-
  ing as an attorney-at-law without being admitted and registered

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section 1. Section 478 of the judiciary law, as amended by chapter 201
of the laws of 1993, is amended to read as follows:
  S 478. Practicing or appearing as attorney-at-law without being admit-
ted and registered. It shall be unlawful for any natural person to prac-
tice or appear as an attorney-at-law or as an attorney and counselor-at-
law  for  a person other than himself OR HERSELF in a court of record in
this state, or to furnish attorneys or counsel or an attorney and  coun-
sel  to  render legal services, or to hold himself OR HERSELF out to the
public as being entitled to practice law as aforesaid, or in  any  other
manner,  or  to  assume  to  be  an  attorney or counselor-at-law, or to
assume, use, or advertise the title of lawyer, or attorney  and  counse-
lor-at-law,  or  attorney-at-law  or  counselor-at-law,  or attorney, or
counselor, or  attorney  and  counselor,  or  equivalent  terms  in  any
language, in such manner as to convey the impression that he OR SHE is a
legal  practitioner  of law or in any manner to advertise that he OR SHE
either alone or together with any other persons  or  person  has,  owns,
conducts  or  maintains  a  law  office or law and collection office, or
office of any kind for the practice of law, without  having  first  been
duly  and  regularly licensed and admitted to practice law in the courts
of record of this state, and without  having  taken  the  constitutional
oath.  Provided,  however, that nothing in this section shall be held to
apply (1) to officers of societies for  the  prevention  of  cruelty  to
animals,  duly  appointed,  when exercising the special powers conferred
upon such corporations under section fourteen hundred three of the  not-

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00471-02-1

S. 1998                             2

for-profit corporation law; or (2) to law students who have completed at
least  two  semesters of law school or persons who have graduated from a
law school, who have taken the examination for  admittance  to  practice
law  in  the  courts  of record in the state immediately available after
graduation from law school, or  the  examination  immediately  available
after  being  notified by the board of law examiners that they failed to
pass said exam, and who have not been notified by the board of law exam-
iners that they have failed to pass two such examinations, acting  under
the  supervision  of  a  legal  aid  organization when such students and
persons are acting under a program approved by the appellate division of
the supreme court of the department in which  the  principal  office  of
such  organization  is  located  and specifying the extent to which such
students and persons may engage in activities  otherwise  prohibited  by
this  statute;  or  (3)  to law students who have completed at least two
semesters of law school, or to persons who have  graduated  from  a  law
school  approved  pursuant  to the rules of the court of appeals for the
admission of attorneys and counselors-at-law  and  who  have  taken  the
examination  for  admission to practice as an attorney and counselor-at-
law immediately available after graduation from law school or the  exam-
ination  immediately  available after being notified by the board of law
examiners that they failed to pass said exam,  and  who  have  not  been
notified by the board of law examiners that they have failed to pass two
such  examinations,  when  such students or persons are acting under the
supervision of the state or a subdivision thereof or of any  officer  or
agency  of  the  state  or  a subdivision thereof, pursuant to a program
approved by the appellate division of the supreme court of  the  depart-
ment  within  which  such activities are taking place and specifying the
extent to which they may engage in activities  otherwise  prohibited  by
this  statute and those powers of the supervising governmental entity or
officer in connection with which they may engage in such activities;  OR
(4)  AN  ATTORNEY AND COUNSELOR-AT-LAW OR THE EQUIVALENT WHO IS ADMITTED
TO THE BAR IN ANOTHER STATE, TERRITORY, DISTRICT OR FOREIGN COUNTRY  AND
WHO HAS BEEN ADMITTED TO PRACTICE PRO HAC VICE IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK.
  ANY PERSON VIOLATING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE GUILTY OF
A CLASS E FELONY.
  S 2. Section 485 of the judiciary law, as added by chapter 1031 of the
laws of 1965, is amended to read as follows:
  S  485.  Violation  of  certain preceding sections a misdemeanor.  Any
person violating the  provisions  of  [sections  four  hundred  seventy-
eight,]  SECTION  four  hundred  seventy-nine, four hundred eighty, four
hundred eighty-one, four hundred eighty-two, four  hundred  eighty-three
or four hundred eighty-four OF THIS ARTICLE, shall be guilty of a misde-
meanor.
  S  3.  This  act  shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall
have become a law.

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