NYS CLE Requirement for Federal Agency Attorneys

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nysbarhelp

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NYS CLE Requirement for Federal Agency Attorneys

Postby nysbarhelp » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:28 pm

Does anyone know if (or have experience with) federal agency attorneys are exempt from CLEs in the state in which they are licensed? For example, New York State has a "not practicing in New York State exemption." However, they do not provide any guidance, "[t]he issue of whether an attorney is practicing law in New York is a question of law that must be determined by the individual attorney." Does anyone have experience with this?

I am licensed in NY but have never worked on a case dealing with New York law or practiced within New York State (I've worked for a federal agency in DC since graduating law school). Does this fall under the CLE exemption? The website is horrible and the CLE office refuses to answer any questions regarding what constitutes the practice of law in NYS.

1styearlateral

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Re: NYS CLE Requirement for Federal Agency Attorneys

Postby 1styearlateral » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:41 pm

Do you work in NYS now?

Edited: I see that you've worked in DC since graduating.

If you're not practicing in NYS I would think you'd be exempt.

champ33

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Re: NYS CLE Requirement for Federal Agency Attorneys

Postby champ33 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:22 pm

I work at a federal agency in DC and am barred in NY. My understanding is if you don't live or work in NY, you are still required to conform to whatever CLE requirements exist where you live and/or work. Because DC has no CLE requirement, I am exempt, but if I lived or worked in MD or VA I might have to complete those states' CLE requirements. Hope this is not wrong.

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Re: NYS CLE Requirement for Federal Agency Attorneys

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:43 pm

champ33 wrote:I work at a federal agency in DC and am barred in NY. My understanding is if you don't live or work in NY, you are still required to conform to whatever CLE requirements exist where you live and/or work. Because DC has no CLE requirement, I am exempt, but if I lived or worked in MD or VA I might have to complete those states' CLE requirements. Hope this is not wrong.


Interesting. Per the website:

Q] What are my CLE obligations if I practice law outside of New York?
A] 1. If you do not practice law in New York but practice in another jurisdiction (including a foreign country) that requires you to fulfill a CLE requirement, you must certify compliance with that other jurisdiction's requirement on your New York biennial attorney registration form.
2. If you do not practice law in New York but practice in another jurisdiction (including a foreign country) that does not require you to fulfill a CLE requirement, you must certify to this on your New York biennial attorney registration form.

My confusion is with the exemption itself:

Q] Are there any exemptions from the CLE requirement?
A] Yes. The following persons are exempt from New York's CLE requirement:
1. Attorneys who do not practice law in New York at all during the relevant reporting cycle,
2. Full time active members of the U.S. Armed Forces,
3. Attorneys with offices outside of New York who are temporarily admitted to practice in a court within New York for a case or proceeding, but who do not otherwise practice law in New York during the relevant reporting cycle, and
4. Attorneys who certify that they are retired from the practice of law pursuant to § 468-a of the Judiciary Law.
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Q] How do I determine whether I am "practicing law in New York"?
A] You must determine for yourself whether your specific activities are considered practicing law in New York. All members of the New York Bar are presumed to be practicing law in New York unless otherwise shown. The burden of proof is on the individual attorney. You should be guided by case law and the Restatement of Law, Third, The Law Governing Lawyers, Chapter 1, § 3. Attorneys "practice law in New York" if they give legal advice or counsel to, or provide legal representation for, a particular body or individual in a particular situation in either the public or private sector. The practice of law does not include the performance of judicial or quasi-judicial (e.g., administrative law judge, hearing officer) functions. Neither the CLE Board nor its staff may advise attorneys on the issue of whether their specific activities constitute the practice of law in New York.

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encore1101

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Re: NYS CLE Requirement for Federal Agency Attorneys

Postby encore1101 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 3:58 pm

^ It's amusing that the definition of "practice law in New York" does not state that such activities must have occurred, y'know, IN New York.

Talk about fulfilling stereotypes about lawyers.

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Re: NYS CLE Requirement for Federal Agency Attorneys

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:11 pm

It appears it depends on how long you have been practicing. The FAQ above is applicable ONLY to attorneys that have been practicing for 2 years. The newer folks have different requirements: https://www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/cle/newattorney_faqs.shtml#s1_q3



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