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Current Developments in the Commercial Divisions of the
New York State Courts by Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP
Posted: January 30, 2021

Corporation May Avoid Prohibition on Corporation Appearing Pro Se by Assigning Claim

On January 14, 2021, Justice Sherwood of the New York County issued a decision in Anthony T. Rinaldi, LLC v. Anchorage Constr. Corp., 2021 NY Slip Op. 30126(U), holding that a corporation may avoid the prohibition on a corporation appearing pro se by assigning its claim, explaining:

Plaintiffs motion to dismiss must be denied. Though it is true that a corporation cannot appear without an attorney subject to CPLR 32l(a), prevailing case law holds that dismissal of claims pursuant to 321(a) can be avoided by assignment to a different plaintiff. Here, Anchorage’s claims were assigned to NAS. Accordingly, plaintiffs motion to dismiss defendant Anchorage’ counterclaims is DENIED.

(Internal citations omitted).

The practice of law in New York is subject to various regulations, including the rule discussed here, which requires a corporation to be represented by counsel in a lawsuit. Contact Schlam Stone & Dolan partner John Lundin at jlundin@schlamstone.com if you or a client have questions regarding the laws governing lawyers in New York.

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