In 2009, New York City expanded its regulation of debt collectors to include "a buyer of delinquent debt who seeks to collect such debt either directly or through the services of another by, including but not limited to, initiating or using legal processes or other means to collect or attempt to collect such debt." A law firm engaged in debt collection sued to enjoin the law, arguing that it was preempted by the state power to regulate attorneys. The district court granted summary judgment to the plaintiff law firm on that claim. On appeal, the Second Circuit certified to the New York Court of Appeals the question whether NYC's law impinged on state power to regulate attorneys. In June, the Court of Appeals said it didn't. Accordingly, yesterday the Second Circuit reversed the district court and upheld the local regulation. The decision in Berman v. City of New York is here.
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