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Connecticut Bar Examining Committee
Authorized House Counsel 
  1. Qualifications
  2. Transition – Safe harbor provision 
  3. Application and Forms
  4. Sec. 2-15A - Authorized House Counsel
  5. Filing Deadline for New AHCs in CT
  6. Updated Certificate – Employer Name Change
  7. Change of Employer


1) To qualify as an authorized house counsel (AHC) under Connecticut Practice Book section 15A an applicant must:

  1. be a member of the bar in good standing in another jurisdiction (state, DC, US territory or foreign country).

  2. be employed by an “organization” as defined in Section 15A or will be relocating to Connecticut within three months in furtherance of employment by such an “organization.”

  3. agree to abide by the rules regulating members of the Connecticut bar.

  4. agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the statewide grievance committee and the superior court.

  5. file an application for registration as an authorized house counsel with the bar examining committee together with the required forms, documents and the fee of $1,000.00.

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2) Transition – Safe harbor provision 

An applicant who files an application for registration as an authorized house counsel between 01 January 2008 and 30 June 2008: 

  1. will not be denied registration as AHC on the grounds of employment by an “organization” in Connecticut prior to 01 January 2008 and
  2. shall not be subject to an enforcement action for unauthorized practice of law for action as counsel to an “organization” prior to 01 January 2008 if the applicant ultimately becomes certified as an AHC in Connecticut pursuant to Section 15A.

An applicant that should have filed within the safe harbor provision but instead files an application for registration as an authorized house counsel after the safe harbor provision:

  1. will have his/her application accepted and processed by the CBEC

  2. should include with his/her application an explanation regarding the failure to file within   the safe harbor provision and

  3. will be referred to the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel for possible investigation for the unauthorized practice of law.

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3) Application and forms 

To be considered filed you must complete and file all of the following: 

Print Check-off Lists Only  --  Download forms from list below.

Check

Form Number and Title

 [     ]

Form AHC1 - Application for registration as authorized house counsel

 [     ]

Form AHC6 - Summary Sheet

 [     ]

Form AHC7 - Return address labels

 [     ]

Form AHC17 - Status sheet

 [     ]

$1000.00 certified check or money order (the Bar Examining Committee does not accept credit cards, personal, company or law firm checks)*

*Company checks will no longer be accepted as a courtesy

The following forms and any supporting documentation may be submitted with the application or within 1 year of the initial filing date:

Check

Form Number and Title

[     ]

Form AHC4 – Affidavit re: rules of professional conduct

[     ]

Form AHC5 – Affidavit re: statewide grievance committee

[     ]

Form AHC8 (2) – Affidavit of CT Attorney

[     ]

Form AHC11 – Certification of employer organization

[     ]

Form AHC13A – Employment and Law Practice

If applicable to you, the following forms may be submitted with the application or within 1 year of the initial filing date:

Check

Form Number and Title

[     ]

Form AHC2 - Additional Response Form

[     ]

Form AHC3 – Amendment Form

[     ]

Form AHC23A – Application question #23 Form A

[     ]

Form AHC23B – Application question #23 Form B

Retain a copy of everything you file with the Committee. 

Form Name PDF

Application for registration as authorized house counsel

AHC1.pdf

Additional response form

AHC2.pdf

Amendment form

AHC3.pdf

Affidavit re rules of professional conduct AHC4.pdf
Affidavit re statewide grievance committee AHC5.pdf
Summary sheet AHC6.pdf
Return address labels AHC7.pdf
Address change labels AHC7A.pdf
Affidavit of Connecticut attorney AHC8.pdf
Law school certification AHC9.pdf
Certification of employer organization AHC11.pdf
Employment and law practice – continuation page AHC13A.pdf
Status sheet AHC17.pdf
Application question #23 Form A AHC23A.pdf
Application question #23 Form B AHC23B.pdf
Change of employer AHC49.pdf
Termination or withdrawal of registration AHC50.pdf

The completed application and supporting documents are to be sent to:

Connecticut Bar Examining Committee
Authorized House Counsel Department
100 Washington Street
Hartford, CT 06106

The application must be typewritten or completed on our fill-in form. Handwritten applications will be returned unprocessed.

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4) Sec. 2-15A - Authorized House Counsel
 








(a) Purpose

The purpose of this section is to clarify the status of house counsel as authorized house counsel as defined herein, and to confirm that such counsel are subject to regulation by the judges of the superior court. Notwithstanding any other section of this chapter relating to admission to the bar, this section shall authorize attorneys licensed to practice in jurisdictions other than Connecticut to be permitted to undertake these activities, as defined herein, in Connecticut without the requirement of taking the bar examination so long as they are exclusively employed by an organization.

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(b) Definitions

(1) Authorized House Counsel. An “authorized house counsel” is any person who:

(A) is a member in good standing of the entity governing the practice of law of each state (other than Connecticut) or territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia or any foreign jurisdiction in which the member is licensed;

(B) has been certified on recommendation of the bar examining committee in accordance with this section;

(C) agrees to abide by the rules regulating members of the Connecticut bar and submit to the jurisdiction of the statewide grievance committee and the superior court; and

(D) is, at the date of application for registration under this rule, employed in the state of Connecticut by an organization or relocating to the state of Connecticut in furtherance of such employment within 3 months of such application under this section and receives or shall receive compensation for activities performed for that business organization.

(2) Organization. An “organization” for the purpose of this rule is a corporation, partnership, association, or other legal entity (taken together with its respective parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates) that is not itself engaged in the practice of law or the rendering of legal services outside such organization, whether for a fee or otherwise, and does not charge or collect a fee for the representation or advice other than to entities comprising such organization for the activities of the authorized house counsel.

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(c) Activities

(1) Authorized Activities. An authorized house counsel, as an employee of an organization, may provide legal services in the state of Connecticut to the organization for which a registration pursuant to subsection (d) is effective, provided, however, that such activities shall be limited to:

(A) the giving of legal advice to the directors, officers, employees, and agents of the organization with respect to its business and affairs;

(B) negotiating and documenting all matters for the organization; and

(C) representation of the organization in its dealings with any administrative agency, tribunal or commission having jurisdiction; provided, however, authorized house counsel shall not be permitted to make appearances as counsel before any state or municipal administrative tribunal, agency, or commission, and shall not be permitted to make appearances in any court of this state, unless the attorney is specially admitted to appear in a case before such tribunal, agency, commission or court.

(2) Disclosure. Authorized house counsel shall not represent themselves to be members of the Connecticut bar or commissioners of the superior court licensed to practice law in this state. Such counsel shall represent themselves as Connecticut authorized house counsel.

(3) Limitation on Representation. In no event shall the activities permitted hereunder include the individual or personal representation of any shareholder, owner, partner, officer, employee, servant, or agent in any matter or transaction or the giving of advice therefore unless otherwise permitted or authorized by law, code, or rule or as may be permitted by subsection (c)(1). Authorized house counsel shall not be permitted to prepare legal instruments or documents on behalf of anyone other than the organization employing the authorized house counsel.

(4) Limitation on Opinions to Third Parties. An authorized house counsel shall not express or render a legal judgment or opinion to be relied upon by any third person or party other than legal opinions rendered in connection with commercial, financial or other business transactions to which the authorized house counsel’s employer organization is a party and in which the legal opinions have been requested from the authorized house counsel by another party to the transaction. Nothing in this subsection (c)(4) shall permit authorized house counsel to render legal opinions or advice in consumer transactions to customers of the organization employing the authorized house counsel.

(5) Pro Bono Legal Services. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this section, an authorized house counsel may participate in the provision of any and all legal services pro bono publico in Connecticut offered under the supervision of an organized legal aid society or state/local bar association project, or of a member of the Connecticut bar who is also working on the pro bono representation.

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(d) Registration

(1) Filing with the Bar Examining Committee. The bar examining committee shall investigate whether the applicant is at least eighteen years of age and is of good moral character, consistent with the requirement of Section 2-8 (3) regarding applicants for admission to the bar. In addition, the applicant shall file with the bar examining committee, and the committee shall consider, the following:

(A) a certificate from each entity governing the practice of law of a state or territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia or any foreign jurisdiction in which the applicant is licensed to practice law certifying that the applicant is a member in good standing;

(B) a sworn statement by the applicant:

(i) that the applicant has read and is familiar with the Connecticut Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys and Chapter 2 (Attorneys) of the Superior Court Rules, General Provisions, and will abide by the provisions thereof;

(ii) that the applicant submits to the jurisdiction of the statewide grievance committee and the superior court for disciplinary purposes, and authorizes notification to or from the entity governing the practice of law of each state or territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia in which the applicant is licensed to practice law of any disciplinary action taken against the applicant;

(iii) listing any jurisdiction in which the applicant is now or ever has been licensed to practice law; and

(iv) disclosing any disciplinary sanction or pending proceeding pertaining or relating to his or her license to practice law, including but not limited to reprimand, censure, suspension or disbarment, or has been placed on inactive status;

(C) a certificate from an organization certifying that it is qualified as set forth in subsection (b)(2); that it is aware that the applicant is not licensed to practice law in Connecticut; and that the applicant is employed or about to be employed in Connecticut by the organization as set forth in subsection (b)(1)(D);

(D) an appropriate application pursuant to the regulations of the bar examining committee;

(E) remittance of a filing fee to the bar examining committee as prescribed and set by that committee; and

(F) an affidavit from each of two members of the Connecticut bar, who have each been licensed to practice law in Connecticut for at least five years, certifying that the applicant is of good moral character and that the applicant is employed or will be employed by an organization as defined above in subsection (b) (2).

(2) Certification. Upon recommendation of the bar examining committee, the court may certify the applicant as authorized house counsel and shall cause notice of such certification to be published in the Connecticut Law Journal.

(3) Annual Client Security Fund Fee. Individuals certified pursuant to this section shall com ply with the requirements of sections 2-6 8 and 2-7 0 of this chapter, including payment of the annual fee and shall pay any other fees imposed on attorneys by court rule.

(4) Annual Registration. Individuals certified pursuant to this section shall register annually with the statewide grievance committee in accordance with section 2-2 6 and section 2-2 7 (d) of this chapter.

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(e) Termination or Withdrawal of Registration

(1) Cessation of Authorization to Perform Services. Authorization to perform services under this rule shall cease upon the earliest of the following events:

(A) the termination or resignation of employment with the organization for which registration has been filed, provided, however, that if the authorized house counsel shall commence employment with another organization within 30 days of the termination or resignation, authorization to perform services under this rule shall continue upon the filing with the bar examining committee of a certificate as set forth in subsection (d) (1) (C);

(B) the withdrawal of registration by the authorized house counsel;

(C) the relocation of an authorized house counsel outside of Connecticut for a period greater than 180 consecutive days; or

(D) the failure of authorized house counsel to comply with any applicable provision of this rule. Notice of one of the events set forth in subsections (e) (1) (A)-(C) or a new certificate as provided in subsection (e) (1) (A) must be filed with the bar examining committee by the authorized house counsel within 30 days after such action. Failure to provide such notice by the authorized house counsel shall be a basis for discipline pursuant to the Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys.

(2) Notice of Withdrawal of Authorization. Upon receipt of the notice required by subsection (e) (1), the bar examining committee shall forward a request to the statewide bar counsel that the authorization under this chapter be revoked. Notice of the revocation shall be mailed by the statewide bar counsel to the authorized house counsel and the organization employing the authorized house counsel.

(3) Reapplication. Nothing herein shall prevent an individual previously authorized as house counsel to reapply for authorization as set forth in subsection (d).

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(f) Discipline

(1) Termination of Authorization by Court. In addition to any appropriate proceedings and discipline that may be imposed by the statewide grievance committee, the superior court may, at any time, with cause, terminate an authorized house counsel’s registration, temporarily or permanently.

(2) Notification to Other States. The statewide bar counsel shall be authorized to notify each entity governing the practice of law in the state or territory of the United States, or the District of Columbia, in which the authorized house counsel is licensed to practice law, of any disciplinary action against the authorized house counsel.

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(g) Transition

(1) Preapplication Employment in Connecticut. The performance of an applicant’s duties as an employee of an organization in Connecticut prior to the effective date of this rule shall not be grounds for the denial of registration of such applicant if application for registration is made within 6 months of the effective date of this rule.

(2) Immunity from Enforcement Action. An authorized house counsel who has been duly registered under this rule shall not be subject to enforcement action for the unlicensed practice of law for acting as counsel to an organization prior to the effective date of this rule.

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5) Filing Deadline for New AHCs in CT

An individual that commences employment in CT with an organization after January 1, 2008 (the effective date of the original AHC rule) may file an application for AHC status within three (3) months before or after commencement of such employment. See Sec. 2-15A (b) (1) (D). If such an individual files an AHC application more than three (3) months after commencing such employment, then the application will be accepted and processed, an explanation for the late filing should be provided with the application, and a referral will be made to the Office of the Chief Disciplinary Counsel for possible investigation for the unauthorized practice of law.

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6) Updated Certificate – Employer Name Change 

An individual who is sworn in as an AHC and who needs an updated certificate because his/her employer has changed its name can obtain one through the following procedure:  

  1. Submit a new Form AHC11 to the Connecticut Bar Examining Committee.
  2. Return the current certificate to Peggy George at Superior Court Operations, together with the new company name and address:

Peggy George, Caseflow Management Specialist
Superior Court Operations
225 Spring Street, 2nd Floor
Wethersfield, CT  06109

  1. Update information with the Statewide Grievance Committee.

New certificates will be issued to those individuals who comply with the above instructions so long as his/her employer has not changed.  There is no cost for the new certificate.

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7) Change of Employer 

An individual who ceases to be employed by the organization for which registration had been filed but commences employment with another organization within 30 days may maintain his/her AHC status pursuant to Practice Book § 2-15A (e) (1) (A) and may obtain an updated certificate when the following procedure is followed:  

  1. Submit Form AHC49 to the Connecticut Bar Examining Committee within 30 days of the date when employment ceased with the organization for which registration had been filed

  2. Submit a new Form AHC11 to the Connecticut Bar Examining Committee within 30 days of the date when employment ceased with the organization for which registration had been filed.

  3. Return the current certificate to Peggy George at Superior Court Operations along with the new company name and address:

Peggy George, Caseflow Management Specialist
Superior Court Operations
225 Spring Street, 2nd Floor
Wethersfield, CT  06109

  1. Update information with the Statewide Grievance Committee.

New certificates will be issued to those individuals who comply with the above instructions.  There is no cost for the new certificate.

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