A lawyer is admitted into certain district courts. If you have a federal matter your attorney must be admitted into that particular USDC. There Re ways ( pro hac vice, co counsel, etc) to get this done on a particular case.
Lawyers are admitted to practice in all State courts. The New York federal court is broken up into 4 districts. If you have a State court case it doesn't matter if the lawyer is admitted in federal court.
I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been handling criminal defense and personal injury cases for over 17 years. The above answer, and any follow up comments or emails, is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.
If you are admitted in NY then you can practice in ALL NY State Courts. If you are admitted in NY you have to seek permission to be admitted in any of the NY Federal District Courts which as said by a colleague are in four different districts. Once you are admitted in one, the rest essentially just require paperwork and a fee. If your case is in State court it does not matter which Federal District the attorney is admitted into at all.
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If you are admitted to practice in New York state court, you can be in all of the state courts of New York. But an attorney must be admitted to practice in each federal district court. In New York there are 4 of them (Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western).
It is not any indication that one lawyer is better than another.
The information contained in this posting is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The furnishing of this information does not create an attorney client relationship. An attorney client relationship requires the furnishing, review, and signing of a retainer agreement.