Argued, October 3, 2012
As Amended April 8, 2014.
On appeal from a judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (Lawrence E. Kahn, J.), entered on September 7, 2011, granting summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff-Appellee, declaring New York Judiciary Law § 470 unconstitutional as violative of the Privileges and Immunities Clause because it implicates the fundamental right to practice law and the state failed to establish either a substantial state interest advanced by the statute, or a substantial relationship between the statute and that interest. Because the questions surrounding the constitutionality of New York Judiciary Law § 470 implicate significant New York state interests, which are determinative of this appeal, we reserve decision and certify a controlling question of state law to the New York Court of Appeals.
EKATERINA SCHOENEFELD, ESQ., Princeton, NJ, for Plaintiff-Appellee.
LAURA ETLINGER, Assistant Solicitor General (BARBARA D. UNDERWOOD, Solicitor General, ANDREA OSER, Deputy Solicitor General, on the brief) for ERIC T. SCHNEIDERMAN, Attorney General of the State of New York, Albany, NY, for Defendants-Appellants.
Before: RAGGI, HALL and CARNEY, Circuit Judges.
Hall, Circuit Judge
Defendants-Appellants appeal from the September 7, 2011 judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York (Lawrence E. Kahn, J .) granting Plaintiff-Appellee's cross-motion for summary judgment and declaring New York Judiciary Law § 470 (" Section 470" ) unconstitutional as violative of the Privileges and Immunities Clause of Article IV, section 2 of the Constitution. Specifically, the district court held that Section 470, which requires nonresident attorneys to maintain an " office for the transaction of law business" within the state of New York in order to practice in New York courts, places an impermissible burden on Plaintiff-Appellee's fundamental right to
practice law and that the state " failed to establish either a substantial state interest advanced by [the statute], or a substantial relationship between the statute and that interest." Schoenefeld v. New York, 907 F.Supp.2d 252, 266 (N.D.N.Y. 2011).
For the reasons that follow, we respectfully certify a controlling question of state law to the New York Court of Appeals.
Plaintiff-Appellee Ekaterina Schoenefeld (" Schoenefeld" ) is a solo practitioner licensed to practice law in the states of New York, New Jersey, and California. She is also admitted to practice in a number of federal courts including the Northern District of New York. Schoenefeld graduated from Rutgers University School of Law ...