Judge Rebuffs Challenge to Ban on Non-Lawyer Firm Ownership-NYLJ

A challenge by Jacoby & Meyers to New York state’s ban on law firms accepting equity investments from non-lawyers has been dismissed by a federal judge.

Southern District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan (See Profile) on March 8 said the personal injury firm’s lawsuit challenging Rule 5.4 of New York’s Rules of Professional Conductmust fail because the rule is not the only one in New York that “forecloses plaintiffs from receiving non-lawyer equity investment,” but it was the only one challenged by the firm.

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New York Assistant Attorneys General Daniel A. Schulze and Michael J. Siudzinski represented the state in Jacoby & Meyers, LLP v. The Presiding Justices of the First, Second Third and Fourth Departments, Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, 11 Civ. 3387.

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