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Home Part 522 - Rules for the Registration of In-House Counsel

Part 522 - Rules for the Registration of In-House Counsel


Table of Contents

§ 522.1 Registration of In-House Counsel
§ 522.2 Proof required
§ 522.3 Compliance
§ 522.4 Scope of legal services
§ 522.5 Termination of registration
§ 522.6 Subsequent admission on motion
§ 522.7 Saving Clause and Noncompliance
§ 522.8 Pro bono legal services


 

§ 522.1 Registration of In-House Counsel

(a) In-House Counsel defined. An in-house counsel is an attorney who is employed full time in this State by a non-governmental corporation, partnership, association, or other legal entity, including its subsidiaries and organizational affiliates, that is not itself engaged in the practice of law or the rendering of legal services outside such organization.

(b) In its discretion, the Appellate Division may register as in-house counsel an applicant who:

(1) has been admitted to practice in the highest law court in any other state or territory of the United States or in the District of Columbia;

(2) is currently admitted to the bar as an active member in good standing in at least one other jurisdiction which would similarly permit an attorney admitted to practice in this State to register as in-house counsel; and

(3) possesses the good moral character and general fitness requisite for a member of the bar of this State.

§ 522.2 Proof required

An applicant under this Part shall file with the Clerk of the Appellate Division of the department in which the applicant resides, is employed or intends to be employed as in-house counsel:

(a) a certificate of good standing from each jurisdiction in which the applicant is licensed to practice law;

(b) a letter from each such jurisdiction's grievance committee, or other body entertaining complaints against attorneys, certifying whether charges have been filed with or by such committee or body against the applicant, and, if so, the substance of the charges and the disposition thereof;

(c) an affidavit certifying that the applicant:

(1) performs or will perform legal services in this State solely and exclusively as provided in section 522.4; and

(2) agrees to be subject to the disciplinary authority of this State and to comply with the New York Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR Part 1200) and the rules governing the conduct of attorneys in the judicial department where the attorney's registration will be issued; and

(d) an affidavit or affirmation signed by an officer, director, or general counsel of the applicant's employer, on behalf of said employer, attesting that the applicant is or will be employed as an attorney for the employer and that the nature of the employment conforms to the requirements of this Part.

§ 522.3 Compliance

An attorney registered as in-house counsel under this Part shall:

(a) remain an active member in good standing in at least one state or territory of the United States or in the District of Columbia;

(b) promptly notify the appropriate Appellate Division department of a disposition made in a disciplinary proceeding in another jurisdiction;

(c) register with the Office of Court Administration and comply with the appropriate biennial registration requirements; and

(d) except as specifically limited herein, abide by all of the laws and rules that govern attorneys admitted to the practice of law in this State.

§ 522.4 Scope of legal services

An attorney registered as in-house counsel under this Part shall:

(a) provide legal services in this State only to the single employer entity or its organizational affiliates, including entities that control, are controlled by, or are under common control with the employer entity, and to employees, officers and directors of such entities, but only on matters directly related to the attorney's work for the employer entity, and to the extent consistent with the New York Rules of Professional Conduct;

(b) not make appearances in this State before a tribunal, as that term is defined in the New York Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0 Rule 1.0[w]) or engage in any activity for which pro hac vice admission would be required if engaged in by an attorney who is not admitted to the practice of law in this State;

(c) not provide personal or individual legal services to any customers, shareholders, owners, partners, officers, employees or agents of the identified employer; and

(d) not hold oneself out as an attorney admitted to practice in this State except on the employer's letterhead with a limiting designation.

§ 522.5 Termination of registration

(a) Registration as in-house counsel under this Part shall terminate when:

(1) the attorney ceases to be an active member in another jurisdiction, as required in section 522.1(b)(2); or

(2) the attorney ceases to be an employee of the employer listed on the attorney's application, provided, however, that if such attorney, within 30 days of ceasing to be such an employee, becomes employed by another employer for which such attorney shall perform legal services as in-house counsel, such attorney may request continued registration under this Part by filing within said 30-day period with the appropriate Appellate Division department an affidavit to such effect, stating the dates on which the prior employment ceased and the new employment commenced, identifying the new employer and reaffirming that the attorney will provide legal services in this State solely and exclusively as permitted in section 522.4. The attorney shall also file an affidavit or affirmation of the new employer as described in section 522.2(d) and shall file an amended statement within said 30-day period with the Office of Court Administration.

(b) In the event that the employment of an attorney registered under this Part ceases with no subsequent employment by a successor employer, the attorney, within 30 days thereof, shall file with the Appellate Division department where registered a statement to such effect, stating the date that employment ceased. Noncompliance with this provision shall result in the automatic termination of the attorney's registration under this Part;

(c) Noncompliance with the provisions of section 468-a of the Judiciary Law and the rules promulgated thereunder, insofar as pertinent, shall, 30 days following the date set forth therein for compliance, result in the termination of the attorney's rights under this Part.

§ 522.6 Subsequent admission on motion

Where a person registered under this Part subsequently seeks to obtain admission without examination under section 520.10 of the Rules of this Court, the provision of legal services under this Part shall not be deemed to be the practice of law for the purpose of meeting the requirements of section 520.10(a)(2)(i).

§ 522.7 Saving Clause and Noncompliance

(a) An attorney employed as in-house counsel, as that term is defined in section 522.1(a), on the effective date of this Part, shall within 90 days of the date thereof, file an application in accordance with section 522.2. Attorneys employed as in-house counsel after the effective date of this Part shall file such an application within 30 days of the commencement of such employment;

(b) Failure to comply with the provisions of this Part shall be deemed professional misconduct, provided, however, that the Appellate Division may upon application of the attorney grant an extension upon good cause shown.

§ 522.8 Pro bono legal services

Notwithstanding the restrictions set forth in section 522.4 of this Part, an attorney registered as in-house counsel under this Part may provide pro bono legal services in this State in accordance with New York Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0) rule 6.1(b) and other comparable definitions of pro bono legal services in New York. An attorney providing pro bono legal services under this section:

(a) shall be admitted to practice and in good standing in another state or territory of the United States or in the District of Columbia and possess the good moral character and general fitness requisite for a member of the bar of this State, as evidenced by the attorney's registration pursuant to section 522.1(b) of this Part;

(b) pursuant to section 522.2(c)(2) of this Part, agrees to be subject to the disciplinary authority of this State and to comply with the laws and rules that govern attorneys admitted to the practice of law in this State, including the New York Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR Part 1200.0) and the rules governing the conduct of attorneys in the judicial department where the attorney's registration is issued;

(c) may appear, either in person or by signing pleadings, in a matter pending before a tribunal, as that term is defined in New York Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0) rule 1.0(w), at the discretion of the tribunal, without being admitted pro hac vice in the matter. Prior to any appearance before a tribunal, a registered in-house counsel must provide notice to the tribunal that the attorney is not admitted to practice in New York but is registered as in-house counsel pursuant to this Part. Such notice shall be in a form approved by the Appellate Division; and

(d) shall not hold oneself out as an attorney admitted to practice in this State, in compliance with section 522.4(d) of this Part.