Rivkin Radler Team Persuades Federal Court To Strike Down Critical Portions of New York City Debt Collection Law

October 5, 2012 | Appeals | Employment & Labor | Insurance Coverage

Evan Krinick, Michael Versichelli, and Max Gershenoff, members of the firm’s Litigation and Appeals Practice Group won a major victory for plaintiff New York debt collection attorneys in Eric M. Berman, P.C. v. City of New York, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143313 (E.D.N.Y. 2012), when United States District Judge Eric N. Vitaliano struck down key parts of Local Law 15, a New York City debt collection law that purported to regulate attorney conduct.

In a 75-page decision, Judge Vitaliano held that ? by requiring attorneys engaged in debt collection activities to obtain a license from the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and to comply with various other regulatory requirements ? Local Law 15 impermissibly conficted with the New York Judiciary Law and the New York Municipal Home Rule Law, which vest the state judiciary with the sole authority to regulate attorneys and their conduct. Judge Vitaliano concluded that in attempting to regulate attorney conduct, the New York City Council exceeded its authority, and those aspects of Local Law 15 that purported to regulate attorney conduct ? the most critical sections of the law and the primary reason it was enacted in the first instance ? were “without force and effect.”


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