senate Bill S1998A

Signed By Governor
2011-2012 Legislative Session

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

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Archive: Last Bill Status - Signed by Governor


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Dec 12, 2012 approval memo.20
signed chap.492
Dec 05, 2012 delivered to governor
Jun 20, 2012 returned to senate
passed assembly
ordered to third reading rules cal.441
substituted for a5700a
May 02, 2012 referred to judiciary
May 01, 2012 delivered to assembly
passed senate
Mar 30, 2012 amended on third reading 1998a
Jan 23, 2012 advanced to third reading
Jan 19, 2012 2nd report cal.
Jan 18, 2012 1st report cal.38
Jan 04, 2012 referred to judiciary
returned to senate
died in assembly
Mar 07, 2011 referred to judiciary
delivered to assembly
passed senate
Mar 03, 2011 advanced to third reading
Mar 02, 2011 2nd report cal.
Mar 01, 2011 1st report cal.123
Jan 14, 2011 referred to judiciary

Votes

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Jan 18, 2012 - Judiciary committee Vote

S1998
23
0
committee
23
Aye
0
Nay
0
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
show committee vote details

Mar 1, 2011 - Judiciary committee Vote

S1998
22
0
committee
22
Aye
0
Nay
1
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
show committee vote details

Bill Amendments

Original
A (Active)
Original
A (Active)

Co-Sponsors

S1998 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5700A
Law Section:
Judiciary Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§478, 485, 486, add §485-a, Judy L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S41

S1998 - Bill Texts

view 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.

view 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.

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                    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.

Co-Sponsors

S1998A (ACTIVE) - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A5700A
Law Section:
Judiciary Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §§478, 485, 486, add §485-a, Judy L
Versions Introduced in 2009-2010 Legislative Session:
S41

S1998A (ACTIVE) - Bill Texts

view 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.

view sponsor memo
BILL NUMBER:S1998A

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
increase penalties for the unlawful practice of law when such
actions cause damages in excess of $1000.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section one amends section 478 of the Judiciary Law to provide a pro
hac vice exception to unlawful practice.

Section two makes technical amendments to section 485 of the Judiciary
Law.

Section three amends the Judiciary Law to create a new section 485-a,
establishing a class D felony for violations of sections 478, 484, 486
or 495 of the Judiciary Law when the violation causes more than $1000
in damages.

Section 4 makes conforming amendments to section 486 of the Judiciary
Law.

Section 5 makes conforming amendments to section 495 of the Judiciary
Law.

Section 6 provides the effective date.

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 other professions.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2011-2012 Passed Senate (S.1998/A.5700)
2009-2010 Passed Senate (S.41/A.1643)
2007-2008 Passed Senate (S.2358/A.8563)
2005-2006 Passed Senate (S.1865/A.5169)

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None to the State.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect on the first of November
after it shall have become a law.

view full text
download pdf
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 1998--A
    Cal. No. 38

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 14, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens.  FUSCHILLO, AVELLA, DeFRANCISCO, HASSELL-THOMPSON,
  LARKIN, SALAND -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed  to
  be  committed  to  the  Committee  on  Judiciary -- recommitted to the
  Committee on Judiciary in accordance with Senate Rule  6,  sec.  8  --
  reported  favorably  from  said committee, ordered to first and second
  report, ordered to a third reading,  amended  and  ordered  reprinted,
  retaining its place in the order of third reading

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

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD00471-09-2

S. 1998--A                          2

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-
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.
  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]
EXCEPT  AS  PROVIDED IN SECTION FOUR HUNDRED EIGHTY-FIVE-A OF THIS ARTI-
CLE, ANY person violating the  provisions  of  [sections]  SECTION  four
hundred  seventy-eight,  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
misdemeanor.
  S 3. The judiciary law is amended by adding a  new  section  485-a  to
read as follows:
  S  485-A.  VIOLATION  OF CERTAIN SECTIONS A CLASS E FELONY. ANY PERSON
WHO VIOLATES THE PROVISIONS OF SECTIONS FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY-EIGHT, FOUR
HUNDRED EIGHTY-FOUR, FOUR HUNDRED EIGHTY-SIX OR FOUR HUNDRED NINETY-FIVE
OF THIS ARTICLE IS GUILTY OF A CLASS E FELONY WHEN HE OR SHE: (1) EITHER
IMPERSONATES AN ATTORNEY OR OFFERS LEGAL SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC UNDER  A
TITLE OTHER THAN ATTORNEY; AND (2) CAUSES ANOTHER PERSON TO SUFFER MONE-
TARY  LOSS  OR  DAMAGES EXCEEDING ONE THOUSAND DOLLARS OR OTHER MATERIAL

S. 1998--A                          3

DAMAGE RESULTING FROM IMPAIRMENT OF A LEGAL RIGHT TO WHICH HE OR SHE  IS
ENTITLED ACCORDING TO LAW.
  S 4. Section 486 of the judiciary law, as added by chapter 1031 of the
laws of 1965, is amended to read as follows:
  S  486. Practice of law by attorney who has been disbarred, suspended,
or convicted of a felony. Any person whose admission to practice  as  an
attorney  and  counselor-at-law has been revoked or who has been removed
from office as attorney and counselor-at-law or, being an  attorney  and
counselor-at-law,  has  been convicted of a felony or has been suspended
from practice and has not been duly and regularly reinstated,  who  does
any  act  forbidden  by the provisions of this article to be done by any
person not regularly admitted to practice law in the courts of record of
this state, unless the judgment, decree or order  suspending  him  shall
permit  such  act,  shall  be  guilty  of a misdemeanor UNLESS OTHERWISE
PROVIDED BY SECTION FOUR HUNDRED EIGHTY-FIVE-A OF THIS ARTICLE.
  S 5. Subdivision 3 of section 495 of the judiciary law,  as  added  by
chapter 1031 of the laws of 1965, is amended to read as follows:
  3.  No  voluntary  association  or  corporation  shall  ask or receive
directly or indirectly, compensation  for  preparing  deeds,  mortgages,
assignments, discharges, leases, or any other instruments affecting real
estate,  wills, codicils, or any other instruments affecting disposition
of property after death or decedents' estates, or pleadings of any  kind
in  actions or proceedings of any nature. Any association or corporation
violating the provisions of this subdivision is guilty of a  misdemeanor
UNLESS  OTHERWISE PROVIDED BY SECTION FOUR HUNDRED EIGHTY-FIVE-A OF THIS
ARTICLE.
  S 6. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed-
ing the date on which it shall have become a law.

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