The NY State court of appeals on 3/31 answered a question certified by the second circuit: Interpreting a NY statute, the state court said a lawyer who does not reside in NY must have a physical office to transact business in the state. Schoenefeld v. State of New York.
This is a statutory interpretation decision only. The federal district court had held the NY law unconstitutional under the Privileges and Immunities Clause. The state appealed. The circuit asked the state court of appeals to interpret the breadth of the office requirement.
To save the statute from a finding of unconstitutionality, the state itself asked the court of appeals to hold that only a method to receive service of process was needed, not a real office. The court declined.
Now the case returns to the circuit, which will have to decide the constitutional question it probably preferred to avoid. And which perhaps the state court would like it to address -- and to affirm the district court.
Meanwhile, poor Ms. Schoenefeld must find a spare file room or kitchen table from which to transact business. Not that much business in fact gets transacted in person anymore. And if it does, there's always Starbucks. :-)