You have asked me to determine whether our client Diana Lewis committed unauthorized practice of law by providing her services. I have done research on statutes and cases. This memorandum will address the issue of this case, California Bar’s claim, and Ms. Lewis’s possible defense.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
In May 2001, Diana Lewis earned her Associate of Art degree and Paralegal Certificate from City College of San Francisco. In June 2001, Ms. Lewis opened her business to prepare legal paperwork for clients involved in uncontested divorces. She advertises her business in the Daily Journal and the Recorder. She charges no more than $75 for the complete …show more content…
She works as an independent legal document assistant. The issue is whether she provided advice about possible legal rights, defense, strategies, etc.
In the People v. Landlords Professional Services, 215 Cal. App. 3d 1599; 264 Cal. Rptr. 548, the court held that when a non-attorney consults his or her clients individually and presents himself or herself with expertise concerning certain legal problem, he or she is engaged in unauthorized practice of law. The court’s reason for affirming conviction against LPS is that the company provided specific information to its clients concerning eviction procedure in the context of personal interviews where it was able to provide additional information and advice addressed to the specific problems and concerns of its clients, who were likely to rely on its advice, perhaps to their serious detriment. This case is similar to Diana Lewis’s case in that both Ms. Lewis and LPS’s representatives are not authorized to practice law. Both cases have the same issue of definition of practice of law. They both provided legal document service. The difference is that LPS held individual interviews with its clients and gave specific advice, whereas Ms. Lewis held conference with her clients. However, Ms. Lewis did discuss with her clients before the court hearing. State Bar could argue it is possible for Ms. Lewis to provide additional advice concerning specific problems if her clients. Yet at
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