No, it's absolutely the law that corporations (professional or otherwise) have to have legal representation. Corporations are fictious entities and cannot represent themself in court. In fact, corporations AND voluntary associations must be represented by an attorney.
The general rule for corporate representation is that corporations are “artificial entities” and therefore may only appear in court through an attorney. And in fact, CLPR 321 states in relevant part “[a] party, other than one specified in section 1201 of this chapter, may prosecute or defend a civil action in person or by attorney, except that a corporation or voluntary association shall appear by attorney.”
As for that argument (that a single member LLC
is not really a separate party and should be eligible for pro se representation), it was unequivocally rejected by the federal Court of Appeals in Lattanzio v. COMTA
, 481 F.3d 137 (2nd Cir. 2007).The Lattanzio court, citing another decision, stated:
The principal rationale for ordinarily requiring representation by a licensed attorney is that the conduct of litigation by a nonlawyer creates unusual burdens not only for the party he represents but as well for his adversaries and the court. The lay litigant frequently brings pleadings that are awkwardly drafted, motions that are inarticulately presented, proceedings that are needlessly multiplicative. In addition to lacking the professional skills of a lawyer, the lay litigant lacks many of the attorney’s ethical responsibilities. . .
Sorry, there are no exceptions - the LLC must have legal representation.
Please don't forget to rate my answer 3 or higher so that I receive credit for assisting you today.