Topic: “Lawyers Participating in Impermissible Lawyer Referral Services and Providing Legal Services for Unregistered Legal Service Plans – Avvo, LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer, and Similar Companies”
From the Opinion
In sum, the Committees find that the Avvo website offers an impermissible referral service, in violation of Rules of Professional Conduct 7.2(c) and 7.3(d), as well as improper fee sharing with a nonlawyer in violation of Rule of Professional Conduct 5.4(a). LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer avoid those problems but appear to be offering legal service plans that have not been registered pursuant to Rule of Professional Conduct 7.3(e)(4)(vii). New Jersey lawyers may not participate in the Avvo legal service programs. In addition, New Jersey lawyers may not participate in the LegalZoom or Rocket Lawyer legal service plans because they are not registered with the New Jersey Supreme Court (Administrative Office of the Courts).
New Jersey Rule of Professional Conduct: 5.4(a); 7.2(c) and 7.3(d); 7.3(e)(4)(vii)
Mentioned Ethics Opinions:
- South Carolina Ethics Advisory Opinion 16-06 (July 14, 2016);
- Pennsylvania Bar Association, Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility Committee Formal Opinion 2016-200 (September 2016).
NJ ACPE Joint Opinion 732, NJ CAA Joint Opinion 44, NJ UPL Joint Opinion 54 is available at https://c.ymcdn.com…