Unauthorized practice of law

Disciplinary Commission overreached, justices agree

November 30, 2012
Dave Stafford
An Ohio attorney who argued his disciplinary case in a rare public forum before the Indiana Supreme Court prevailed as justices said the Indiana Disciplinary Commission’s arguments failed.
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Attorney discipline process goes public

November 7, 2012
Dave Stafford
Testimony alleges that Ohio lawyer’s race and past play a role in Indiana’s case against him for unauthorized practice of law.
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Justices adopt repayment plan in UPL case

January 23, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has adopted a repayment plan for an Indianapolis company it found engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, ordering officials to reimburse the state bar association and former clients during the next six years.
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Order requires United Financial to pay court costs

January 17, 2012
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has ordered United Financial Systems Corp. and its officials to pay the court and a special master $16,003 for the costs associated with an Unauthorized Practice of Law action that has been ongoing for more than three years.
 
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Adding UPL to Indiana RICO statute

November 9, 2011
Michael Hoskins
An Indiana Supreme Court case involving an estate planning “trust mill” has led to a policy discussion about whether certain types of unauthorized practice of law should rise above a misdemeanor crime and involve a racketeering component.
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Legislative study committee to discuss UPL

October 10, 2011
Jennifer Nelson
The Indiana Probate Code Study Commission, which meets for the first time this year on Wednesday, will focus on three items at its meeting, including the unauthorized practice of law.
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UPL victims urged to claim refunds

August 5, 2011
IL Staff
The Office of the Indiana Attorney General is asking the victims of the United Financial Systems unauthorized practice of law case to apply soon if they want to receive restitution.
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'Notario' pleads guilty to tax evasion, illegal law practice

July 28, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Marion Superior judge has sentenced an Indianapolis woman who offered illegal immigration services without a law license and evaded paying her income taxes through that business.
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Class action alleges UPLRestricted Content

July 20, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The plaintiffs' lawyers will use the United Financial decision from the Indiana Supreme Court to make their argument.
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Hearing set for UPL case

June 8, 2011
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court won’t reconsider its 2010 decision ordering United Financial Systems Corp. to refund money for estate planning services it sold, constituting an unauthorized practice of law.
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Company hit with class action suits

April 13, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Two class action lawsuits have been filed against an Indianapolis firm that had offered estate planning services to people. Now, the Indiana Supreme Court is considering what happens next against the company it found a year ago had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.
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Notario publico issues surface again

March 30, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Years ago, the Indiana Supreme Court made it clear what non-lawyers could and could not do related to immigration services. Crossing the line might be considered the unauthorized practice of law. Now, two people in Indiana are facing the consequences of doing exactly that.
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AG files criminal UPL, tax evasion charges against ‘notario publico’

March 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
Adding to what it has already done in targeting two “notario publicos” for illegally offering immigration services, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office has now filed a criminal Unauthorized Practice of Law charge and several tax evasion counts against one of those non-lawyers who was operating in Indianapolis.
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Law firm files class-action lawsuit for estate planning UPL

January 25, 2011
Michael Hoskins
A Logansport law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against an Indianapolis company that the state’s highest court last year determined engaged in the Unauthorized Practice of Law, suing on behalf of thousands of residents for what attorneys estimate could be $10 million to $20 million in damages.
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Justices order refunds in estate planning UPL case

December 22, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court is shaking its proverbial finger at a company it found had engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, making it clear that the court’s orders must be followed or non-compliant litigants will be sanctioned.
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SCOTUS won't take Indiana UPL case

October 13, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Supreme Court of the United States won’t reconsider a significant unauthorized practice of law case ruled on by the Indiana Supreme Court earlier this year.
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Justices rule on trust mill UPL case

April 14, 2010
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana State Bar Association has won an unauthorized practice of law action against an estate planning services company, but wasn't able to completely sway the state's highest court that all "costs and expenses" should be completely granted for the prosecution of the case.
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Court issues UPL ruling about 'general counsel'Restricted Content

March 31, 2010
Scott Olson
A top executive of Celadon Group Inc. can no longer represent himself as the Indianapolis-based trucking company's attorney because of a glaring omission - he is not licensed to practice law in Indiana.
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Agencies examine UPLRestricted Content

March 17, 2010
Michael Hoskins
Long before he became Greenwood's police chief, attorney Joe Pitcher recalls sitting as a special judge in town court and facing an Unauthorized Practice of Law case that may be one of few like it in Indiana.
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Report issued in UPL claim on trust mill case

July 15, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana Supreme Court has never determined whether the money spent during the prosecution of an Unauthorized Practice of Law claim fits into the "costs and expenses incurred by such a hearing" category, which means that a losing party pays under Administrative Disciplinary Rule 24.
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Justices consider 'costs' in UPL action

January 1, 2009
Michael Hoskins
The Indiana State Bar Association wants the state's highest court to define the term "costs and expenses" as it's never done before, and in doing so order a company being prosecuted for the Unauthorized Practice of Law to have to pay those fees and disgorge any profits it shouldn't have made in the first place.Hearing arguments today in State of Indiana, Ex. Rel. Indiana State Bar Association v. United Financial Systems Corp., No. 84S00-0810-MS-551, justices considered an issue of first...
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  1. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  2. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

  3. The US has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. Far too many people are sentenced for far too many years in prison. Many of the federal prisoners are sentenced for marijuana violations. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.

  4. My daughter was married less than a week and her new hubbys picture was on tv for drugs and now I havent't seen my granddaughters since st patricks day. when my daughter left her marriage from her childrens Father she lived with me with my grand daughters and that was ok but I called her on the new hubby who is in jail and said didn't want this around my grandkids not unreasonable request and I get shut out for her mistake

  5. From the perspective of a practicing attorney, it sounds like this masters degree in law for non-attorneys will be useless to anyone who gets it. "However, Ted Waggoner, chair of the ISBA’s Legal Education Conclave, sees the potential for the degree program to actually help attorneys do their jobs better. He pointed to his practice at Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP in Rochester and how some clients ask their attorneys to do work, such as filling out insurance forms, that they could do themselves. Waggoner believes the individuals with the legal master’s degrees could do the routine, mundane business thus freeing the lawyers to do the substantive legal work." That is simply insulting to suggest that someone with a masters degree would work in a role that is subpar to even an administrative assistant. Even someone with just a certificate or associate's degree in paralegal studies would be overqualified to sit around helping clients fill out forms. Anyone who has a business background that they think would be enhanced by having a legal background will just go to law school, or get an MBA (which typically includes a business law class that gives a generic, broad overview of legal concepts). No business-savvy person would ever seriously consider this ridiculous master of law for non-lawyers degree. It reeks of desperation. The only people I see getting it are the ones who did not get into law school, who see the degree as something to add to their transcript in hopes of getting into a JD program down the road.

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