Misrepresentation in attorney’s LinkedIn profile leads to ethics sanctions

On December 19, 2016, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania issued an order accepting a recommendation from the State’s Disciplinary Board to suspend an attorney for one year and one day for engaging in unauthorized practice of law. Among other counts, the Respondent allegedly maintained a LinkedIn profile representing to […]

North Carolina legislates that providing blank legal documents is not the practice of law but builds in consumer protection

On June 30, 2016, Ch. SL 2016-60, an amendment was added to modify North Carolina’s definition of “practice of law” (§ 84-2.2) in order to allow website providers – such as Legal Zoom – to offer interactive legal documents based on consumers’ answers to legal questions. Now the “practice of law” does not include websites offering this […]

Non-resident attorneys need physical office in NY to practice law, Second Circuit holds

On March 31, 2015, the New York State Court of Appeals concluded that nonresident lawyers in New York must maintain a physical office in the jurisdiction in order to practice. In this case, a New Jersey resident admitted to practice law in New York alleged that Judiciary Law § 470 – which mandates that a nonresident attorney […]

Washington State will soon have Legal Technicians to provide legal advice in Family Law

In 2012 the Washington Supreme Court adopted the Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) Rule which authorizes a new legal professional who meets certain educational requirements to advise and assist clients in approved practice areas of law. The LLLT Board will begin licensing in Spring 2015. These nonlawyers will be licensed by the state to provide legal […]

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 […]

Medlock v LegalZoom.com Inc, (S.C. 2013)

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. However, recently South Carolina Supreme Court approved […]

LegalZoom.com, Inc.v. McIllwain, 2013 WL 5497717 (Ark. 2013)

Holding: Private Claim that LegalZoom engaged in the Unauthorized Practice of Law is Subject to Arbitration. On October 3, 2013, the Arkansas Supreme Court held that an unfair trade practice claim by a consumer who purchased a will from LegalZoom’s website was subject to arbitration.  The court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the arbitration clause was […]

Law Offices of Mathew Higbee v. Expungement Assistance Services, 214 Cal. App. 4th 544 (Cal. Ct. App. 4th Dist. 2013)

An attorney plaintiff sued an online legal services provider for, among other things, unfair competition based on the unauthorized practice of law. The attorney alleged loss of revenue and market share, diminution of firm value, and increased advertising costs. The dispute centered around interpretation of California’s unfair competition law. The Court of Appeal of California, Fourth […]

District of Columbia Bar Opinion 362

Opinion No. 362 of the District of Columbia Bar’s Legal Ethics Committee Topics: Non–lawyer Ownership of Discovery Service Vendors Summary of Committee: “Discovery service vendors, such as e–discovery vendors, cannot both practice law within the District of Columbia and be partially or entirely owned by passive non–lawyer investors consistent with D.C. Rule 5.4(b). This Committee’s […]