Muldoon, Getz & Reston

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Attorneys Required to Provide Notice When Changing Address
by Gary Muldoon
Muldoon & Getz
Rochester, NY
585 262-5130
www.muldoongetz.com


 

When an attorney changes jobs, or starts the first job, it is important to provide notice of the new address and phone number. By statute and by court rules, an attorney is required to notify the Office of Court Administration within 30 days of the change. Judiciary Law § 468-a(2); 22 NYCRR § 118.1(e).


Failure to notify OCA may result in disciplinary action. § 118.1(h); Matter of Behensky, 307 AD2d 138, 761 NYS2d 675 (2d Dept 2003); Matter of Perolawicz, 223 AD2d 1000, 637 NYS2d 228 (3d Dept 1994). Where a home address changes, notice of that should also be provided to OCA.


Federal courts may require notification as well. For the Western District of New York, e.g., Local Rule 83.1(h) provides for website notification. For the Southern and Eastern Districts, see Local Rule 1.3(d).


Additionally, many others should be notified. Keeping track of incoming correspondence for a month or two will give a good sampling of those who should be notified. The following is a partial listing:


  • Office of Court Administration
  • Federal courts 
  • Local, state and national bar associations 
  • Other affiliations 
  • Telephone directory
  • Other advertisers 
  • Law book publishers 
  • Other office supply companies 
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • New York Lawyers Diary and Manual (Redbook) 
  • Current clients 
  • Former clients 
  • Counsel on pending cases 
  • Judges on pending cases 
  • Insurance carriers 
  • College and law school 
  • Magazine and newspaper subscriptions 
  • United States Postal Service 
  • Delivery companies

The first floor of office buildings often has a directory of tenants. Both the previous landlord and the new landlord should be notified to omit or include, respectively, the change. See Matter of Abbott, 175 AD2d 396, 572 NYS2d 467 (3d Dept 1991) (name with “Attorney at Law” kept on building directory after suspension); Matter of Crescenzi, 136 AD2d 386, 527 NYS2d 221 (1st Dept 1988) (suspended attorney kept sign on building).


With the US Postal Service, a change of address is effective for six months. In addition to filing the form at the time of moving, it may be worthwhile to periodically renew that notice.


Similarly, with a change of phone number, fax, or Internet address, some of the entities included in this list should be notified.


The company that supplies stationery, envelopes and business cards should be notified early, so that these supplies are available immediately upon the change.


Where a law firm changes its name, the change should be made public, including to the above list.


© 2008 by Gary Muldoon