Legalzoom.Com, Inc. V. N. Carolina State Bar, 2014 NCBC 9 (03/24/2014) 11-CVS-15111

LegalZoom sales interactive self-help legal document. The consumer uses a LegalZoom’s web-hosted software that automatically creates legal documents without attorney assistance. The sale is carried out through Internet in all 50 States.

LegalZoom business model has been challenged in a number of States for unauthorized practice of law.

The North Carolina General Court of Justice issued an order and opinion on March 24, 2014, concerning various motions in a suit involving claims and counterclaims between LegalZoom and the North Carolina State Bar.

As mentioned, LegalZoom is accused of unauthorized practice of law and failure to meet filing requirements in seeking approval to run a prepaid legal services plan in the state.

The Court ruled that the unauthorized practice of law issue is so complex that it should await a more developed factual record before deciding. “The context for deciding the ultimate issue of UPL may vary depending on the particular document or use to which a LegalZoom customer may put the software”.

“In sum, the court determines that a greater factual record will help shape and answer these and other questions. The court then concludes that the issue of unauthorized practice of law should not be decided at this juncture…”

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