Hearing set for UPL case

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.

Now, the Indianapolis company faces a June 23-27 hearing before a special commissioner to determine whether it should be held in contempt for not issuing those refunds that state justices have twice ordered. This is the latest in the three-year case of State of Indiana, Ex. Rel. Indiana State Bar Association v. United Financial Systems Corp., No. 94S00-0810-MS-551.

The justices on May 27 declined to rehear the case, leaving in place the hearings before former Monroe Circuit Judge Viola Taliaferro who’s serving as commissioner. She determined in March that United Financial had failed without good cause to pay refunds to 346 customers, and on May 25 she set hearing dates to determine what contempt sanctions should be imposed. All 11 individual respondents must personally appear at the hearings to answer the commissioner’s questions and discuss evidence, the order states.

She ordered United Financial to turn over company information on past customers, as well as company tax returns and financial documentation. The discovery will be limited to the parties in this suit and not be released to third parties, and any experts who see the discovery will be subject to confidentiality, according to the order. Attorney fees will be addressed at the hearing, an issue that United Financial intends to challenge as not being reasonable.

Rehearing: "Court orders refunds in estate planning UPL case" IL Jan. 5 – 18, 2011

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