Wednesday, October 5, 2011

LegalZoom files suit in N. Carolina arguing it's not engaged in unauthorized practice of law

A suit filed against LegalZoom in Missouri raised a similar issue although the case was ultimately settled after the court ruled on summary judgment that while the sale of legal forms is not UPL, helping customers fill them out might be.  This time around, it's LegalZoom that has filed a lawsuit, against the North Carolina bar, seeking a declaration that it is not engaged in UPL in that state.

From the ABA Journal Blog:

The online legal document company LegalZoom has sued the North Carolina State Bar in an effort to gain registration for its legal services plan.

The suit also seeks a ruling that its business model doesn’t constitute the unauthorized practice of law, according to a press release and the Raleigh News & Observer.

The bar had issued a cease-and-desist letter to Legal Zoom in 2008, and later cited the letter when it refused to register the company’s legal services plan.

The News & Observer quotes LegalZoom’s Raleigh lawyer A.P. Carlton Jr., a former ABA president. “This is the first time in their history they have filed a lawsuit," Carlton said of his client. "They did not want to do this, but after being rebuffed at every turn, they had to take a look at their options from a business perspective. What this lawsuit is about is the principle of being able to engage in business in North Carolina free of unlawful government restraint."

Continue reading here.


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