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adopted a confidential plan, known as Claims Core Process Redesign (CCPR), to enhance profits by engaging in the unauthorized practice of law nationwide.
Historically, under the separation of powers doctrine, state judiciaries have been responsible for defining and regulating the practice of law.(10) Judicial power to regulate the practice of law is "inherent," with its rationale rooted in enabling courts to "effectively perform their judicial functions and to protect their dignity, independence and integrity."(11) State legislatures may use their police power to protect the public interest; however, in doing so they may only act in aid of the judiciary and do not "supercede or detract from the power of the courts" to regulate the practice of law.(12)
Some state statutes categorize the unauthorized practice of law as a misdemeanor criminal act.
The PIO said the revised rule also enumerated which are considered "unauthorized practice of law" with corresponding sanctions.
Also last year, a total of 10 lawyers were suspended from both the practice of law and notarial practice, while four were suspended from notarial practice.
As LegalZoom's 2012 prospectus notes, "Despite the enormous amount spent on legal services, we believe that small businesses and consumers have not been adequately served by the options traditionally available to them." (13) Yet, as court opinions decide whether or not LegalZoom engages in the unauthorized practice of law, questions arise regarding LegalZoom's ability to maintain its business model and goals to adequately serve small businesses and consumers.
McGrath was recently invited by the Mecklenburg County Bar Association (Charlotte, NC) to provide fellow attorneys with a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) presentation eLawyering and the virtual practice of law. The presentation was titled “Establishing and Maintaining a Virtual Law Practice” and was accredited for 1.5 hours of total CLE credit, including .5 hours on ethics.
Nonlawyers who represent employers before the Illinois Department of Employment Security in unemployment benefits hearings aren't using the kind of legal knowledge or skill that makes their conduct the unauthorized practice of law, the Illinois appellate court has held in opinions from two separate panels.
Yet it is clear that regardless of how knowledgeable an advisor is, only the attorney may "practice law." This regulation and limitation on the practice of law is in the public interest and is intended to provide reasonable protection for the clients being advised.
Only if enough of us come to understand what happens behind closed doors in law practices and courtrooms can we do something to reform the practice of law in this country and establish a legal system that produces genuine justice and not just a quagmire of political games that makes 'justice' a prize to who ever can afford the best legal manipulation of the laws and the court system.
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