Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Keeping It Simple

The Billings Gazette reports that the Montana Supreme Court has adopted rules that permit non-lawyers to act as counsel before the Montana Water Court:

"The state Supreme Court issued new rules Monday for the Montana Water Court that will allow most of those involved in disputes over water rights to navigate the process without hiring a lawyer.

The order clarifies under what circumstances nonlawyers can represent family corporations, trusts, partnerships, companies and other common holders of water rights.

The Montana Supreme Court had been considering a rule that would force such entities to hire a lawyer, consistent with the state's laws on the unauthorized practice of law. The Water Court has had a decades-old tradition of not enforcing those laws, to keep the process simple."

Hat tip to the web page of the North Dakota Supreme Court (in my view, one of the very best state court web pages) for alerting us to this development. (Mike Frisch)


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