Wednesday, March 31, 2010
A petition filed in the Missouri Western District Court seeks class certification to proceed with a claim against LegalZoom for unauthorized practice of law.
The petition avers that LegalZoom, without a license to practice law, offers services normally offered by lawyers. For example, the petition states that one class member sought and received a customized will from LegalZoom. The class member also received information about how to modify his will and how payable on death accounts and joint property would affect his will instructions.
In addition to class certification, the petition seeks the following:
- Actual damages in the amount of fees that were paid to LegalZoom for the unauthorized practice of law,
- Treble damages for the unauthorized practice of law,
- Punitive damages under the state's Merchandising Practices Act in order to punish LegalZoom for fraudulent and deceptive behavior and to deter similar conduct in the future, and
- Injunctive relief to stop LegalZoom from continuing to operate.
Special thanks to Michael Knowles (J.D. Candidate 2011, Creighton University) for brining this to my attention.