476-a. Action for unlawful practice of the law. 1. The attorney-general may maintain an action upon his or her own information or upon the complaint of a private person or of a bar association organized and existing under the laws of this state against any person, partnership, corporation, or association, and any employee, agent, director, or officer thereof who commits any act or engages in any conduct prohibited by law as constituting the unlawful practice of the law. The term "action" as used in this subdivision shall be construed to include both civil actions and criminal actions.
The term "unlawful practice of the law" as used in this article shall include, but is not limited to,
(a) any act prohibited by penal law sections two hundred seventy, two hundred seventy-a, two hundred seventy-e, two hundred seventy-one, two hundred seventy-five, two hundred seventy-five-a, two hundred seventy-six, two hundred eighty or fourteen hundred fifty-two, or
(b) any other act forbidden by law to be done by any person not regularly licensed and admitted to practice law in this state, or
(c) any act punishable by the supreme court as a criminal contempt of court under section seven hundred fifty-B of this chapter.
2. Such a civil action may also be maintained by a bar association organized and existing under the laws of the state of New York, upon an application to the supreme court of the state of New York, or a justice thereof, for leave to bring the same by such bar association on good cause shown therefor and proof that a written request was made upon the attorney-general to bring such an action and that more than twenty days have elapsed since the making of such request and he or she has failed or refused to bring such an action.
Last modified: February 3, 2019