Does a Professional Corporation Require a Designated Spokesperson Accountable to the Court ?
In Austrian, Lance & Stewart v. Hastings Props., 87 Misc 2d 25, 26 [Sup Ct, NY County 1976], the plaintiff, a professional corporation of attorneys, moved for summary judgment upon a promissory note.
Defendant objected to plaintiff appearing pro se, but the court permitted plaintiff to represent itself. (See, Austrian, Lance & Stewart v. Hastings Props., 87 Misc 2d, at 26.)
The court noted that "the reason corporations are required to act through attorneys is that a corporation is a hydra-headed entity and its shareholders are insulated from personal responsibility.
There must therefore be a designated spokesman accountable to the court.
This reasoning does not apply in the case of a professional corporation where personal liability attaches and each member (in this case a law firm) is qualified to appear before the court and argue its case." (Supra, at 26.)