eLawyering Blog

eLawyering Blog

Lawyers Delivering Legal Services OnLine

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Best Practice Guidelines for Legal Document Service Providers

Posted in Document Automation, eLawyering Ethical Issues, eLawyering Events, Legal Ethics, LegalZoom, Web-Enabled Document Assembly
The American Bar Association’s eLawyering Task Force has compiled a draft set of best practice guidelines for legal document providers, which can be downloaded here*.   An increasingly popular – and controversial – category of service providers are those that supply customer-specific documents over the Internet, using interactive software and/or human resources, without purporting to be engaged in… Continue Reading

UPL and Legal Document Preparation by Non-Lawyer Providers

Posted in LegalZoom, Unauthorized Practice of Law
The ABA Standing Committee on Client Protection just released a survey it conducted on unlicensed practice of law programs ( UPL) in United States jurisdictions in 2011-12. Only 29 jurisdictions responded to the survey.  Twenty-three of the 29 actively enforce UPL regulations, although some jurisdictions indicate that insufficient funding or resources make enforcement challenging. Nine jurisdictions… Continue Reading

Legal Forms for the Price of a Song on iTunes?*

Posted in Change, Collaboration Tools, Competition, Document Automation, Law Firm Productivity, Legal Fees, Self-Help Law, Virtual Law Firms, Web-Enabled Document Assembly
Legal forms, without the legal advice or assistance of a lawyer, continue to decline in value. As a pure digital product, a legal form follows the price curve of other digital goods eventually approaching zero.  Several new start-ups in the legal industry will accelerate this trend. Docracy is a new legal document start-up, founded by… Continue Reading

Washington State Attorney Zooms in on LegalZoom’s Claims

Posted in Competition, LegalZoom, Marketing On-Line Legal Services
Washington State’s Attorney General has entered into a settlement agreement with LegalZoom , requiring that LegalZoom cease comparing its fees to attorneys’ fees unless the company clearly discloses that its service isn’t a substitute for a law firm. The agreement also prohibits LegalZoom from engaging in the unauthorized practice of law, selling personal information obtained… Continue Reading

On-Line Wills: Web Forms Only vs. Lawyer Services

Posted in Document Automation, Expert Systems, Law Firm Productivity, Virtual Law Firms, Virtual Law Practice, Web-Enabled Document Assembly
Last week the New York Times, in it’s Your Money column,  did an evaluation of non-lawyer legal form sites that offer wills on-line, including products offered by Legal Zoom and Nolo. The author concluded that a lawyer can still be very helpful: "… a computer program can’t ask you about your family relationships or tease… Continue Reading

Total Attorneys Responds to Zenas Zelotes Attack

Posted in eLawyering Ethical Issues, Legal Referral, Marketing On-Line Legal Services, Outsourcing
Total Attorneys has responded to Attorney Zenas Zelotes filing of ethics complaints in 47 different jurisdictions. The Total Attorneys response can be found here. Total Attorneys summarizes its response as follows: "In a nutshell, Mr. Zelotes’s 303-page complaint (including exhibits) alleges that Total Bankruptcy (and various other Total Attorneys companies) is a for-profit referral service,… Continue Reading

What is LegalZoom?

Posted in Competition, eLawyering Ethical Issues, Unauthorized Practice of Law
LegalZoom is a California-based company that offers on-line paralegal document preparation services on a nationwide basis.  A nationwide advertising program, financed in part by a relatively large capital investment from Polaris Venture Partners,  is now underway in major national media markets with the goal of branding LegalZoom as the leading legal services web site on… Continue Reading