Saturday, September 8, 2007

Jailhouse Lawyering Not Unauthorized Practice

The Ohio Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, dismissed a complaint of unauthorized practice of law against a prison inmate who is serving a lengthy sentence. The Supreme Court Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law found that  the prisoner had "conducted legal research, offered legal advice, and prepared and signed legal documents on behalf of many other inmates." The majority opinion notes the futility of imposing sanctions as the threat of contempt will likely not deter an inmate who may never secure his release. An opinion concurring only in the result aptly notes: "the UPL Board's interest in regulating the legal profession is overridden by the need for prison inmates to have help in obtaining access to courts." The court's summary of the holding, with a link to the opinions, is linked here. (Mike Frisch)

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» Jailhouse Lawyer Found Not To Be Practicing Law By Ohio Supreme Court from Adjunct Law Prof Blog
Jailhouse lawyers are inmates who represent other inmates in legal matters even though they have not formal training. Bourdon v. Loughren, 386 F. 3d 88, 97, n. 12 (2d Cir. 2004). The Supreme Court held in Johnson v. Avery, 393 [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 10, 2007 9:07:06 PM


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