Whitehead v. Town House Equities, Ltd – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In Whitehead v. Town House Equities, Ltd. (8 AD3d 369, 777 NYS2d 917 [2004]), the Appellate Division, Second Department held:

"A person not licensed to practice law in the State of New York pursuant to the Judiciary Law may not appear pro se in court on behalf of a litigant as an attorney-in-fact pursuant to a power of attorney. A person who does so has unlawfully engaged in the unauthorized practice of law" (id. at 370).

The Court held that the provisions of the General Obligations Law which give an attorney-in-fact powers related to litigation only apply to the "decision to prosecute or defend, not to representation" (id.).