Category: Attorneys Only Posted on Aug 29, 2016

No Representation Without a License

*This page is intended for review only by Attorneys. The information contained is incomplete. The training, experience and skills of an attorney are needed to apply the facts of any situation within the law.

Connecticut clearly prohibits the practice of law by non-attorneys. This includes people who may be licensed as attorneys in other states. The law is clear that if a person is not licensed in the state of Connecticut as an attorney, he or she may not appear in court or outside of court to pursue the practice of law, nor may they make themselves available to the public to practice law.

This statute has been rigidly upheld by Connecticut Courts. In one case, the Connecticut Appellate Court found that an attorney who was licensed in the State of New York and who had applied to be licensed by the State of Connecticut could not practice in Connecticut. He could not even draw up a contract outside of court, until he was admitted to the Connecticut Bar. The Court went on to say that he could not charge for and collect legal fees for these legal services rendered in Connecticut since he was not authorized to practice law in this state. In fact, there are numerous decisions indicating that an attorney is not entitled to recover compensation for legal services rendered in a state in which he was not admitted to the bar and had no right to practice.

In another case, the Connecticut Appellate Court found that an attorney who was suspended from the practice of law in Connecticut could represent himself, but could not represent his wife in an appeal that they brought, extinguishing the wife as a party to the appeal.

Our court has further held that preparing legal documents for a fee by a non-attorney constitutes the unauthorized practice of law.

When you’re seeking legal representation, be sure to verify that the attorney you’re speaking with is licensed to practice in the state of Connecticut. If you’ve been represented by an unlicensed attorney in the past, reach out, we can help.

Bruce Stanger

My litigation experience includes family law, divorce, product liability, construction law, professional negligence, shareholder disputes, legal malpractice, and general commercial litigation.