NUMBER 400 1951

Question. Is there any objection to a disbarred lawyer acting in the capacity of conducting his own business writing briefs and doing research for individual attorneys, for which he will receive compensation and maintain his own office, such as an independent contractor?

Answer. The writing of briefs and doing research for attorneys constitutes the practice of law. A disbarred lawyer is a layman. A layman is prohibited from practicing law by Section 270 of the Penal Law. The Canons of Professional Ethics are applicable only to lawyers.


“When an attorney has been disbarred, he has been pronounced unfit for further professional activity.” Matter of Treadwell, 175 App. Div. 834, 842. It would be improper for an attorney to employ the services of a disbarred attorney as a clerk or legal research assistant. Matter of Sutherland, 252 App. Div. 620.