1250 Broadway, 27th Floor New York, NY 10001


With some limited exceptions, New York State attorneys are required by law to file a registration statement every two years and pay a $350 filing fee.* Believe it or not, the failure to complete the one-page form or to otherwise comply with this registration requirement can result in an attorney's suspension from the practice of law. (Not a good thing, that's for sure.)
Why would people subject themselves to the time and expense of three or more years of law school, submit to a rigorous bar examination, an exhaustive application and interview process, only to be suspended from the profession for non-compliance with such a relatively ministerial requirement? You'll have to ask the 815 people who were recently the subject of the Appellate Division, First Department's ire.
In a decision dated October 12, 2006, the appellate court suspended attorneys whose last names began with the letters "A" through "D" and announced that this was only the first in a "series" of decisions to come. In other words, those whose last names start with "E" through "Z" will be disciplined in the near future.
Surprisingly, the group consists of a broad range of practitioners including (but not limited to) those who are--or were--associated with some of the City's leading lawfirms: Davis Polk (6); Skadden Arps (6); Weil Gotshal (6); Shearman & Sterling (4); Sullivan & Cromwell (4); Kelley Drye (3); Milbank Tweed (3); Cleary Gottlieb (2); Clifford Chance (2); and Wachtell, Lipton (2).
By the way, if you are a regular reader of our posts, have you noticed that the AD will cut (alleged) gun-toting students [ That Wasn't A Pistol in His Pants! ] and (alleged) marijuana growers [ Pot Luck? ] a lot more slack than attorneys who haven't filled out a form?
Something's awry here.
For a copy of the Chief Administrator's rules governing attorney registration, please click on the following link:
For a copy of the Appellate Division's decision in Matter of Attorneys Who Are in Violation of Judiciary Law Section 468-a, please click on the following link:
* See Section 468-a of the Judiciary Law and 22 NYCRR Part 118 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts.