Jurisdiction Disclaimer

  • Effective Date: August 22, 2020

LAW VOLCANO looks forward to working with legal and bar associations to ensure that our product and platform is ethically sound. We respect the practice of law and have designed our product to comply with all existing and rules regulations surrounding the practice of law. LAW VOLCANO is not a law firm but a provider of legal information and do-it-yourself legal forms. What constitutes the "practice of law" is usually found either in statutes, through a court rule or some combination of statute, rule, case law and advisory opinion.

The products that LAW VOLCANO sells are limited to, and available in, these jurisdictions only:

United States of America

Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Arkansas - https://www.arcourts.gov/rules-and-administrative-orders/court-rules/rule-55-unauthorized-practice-law-multijurisdictional

California - https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=12284932800054749774 - "We believe general California law and the approach taken by other states [...] that such services do not amount to the practice of law as long as the service [...] was merely clerical, i.e., the service did not engage in the practice of law if it made forms available for the client's use, filled the forms in at the specific direction of the client and filed and served those forms as directed by the client. Likewise, merely giving a client a manual, even a detailed one containing specific advice, [...] would not be the practice of law if the service did not personally advise the client with regard to his specific case." People v. Landlords Professional Services (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 1599, 264 Cal. Rptr. 548

Delaware - https://courts.delaware.gov/odc/rules.aspx + https://www.courts.delaware.gov/odc/upldecisions.aspx

Florida - https://www.flcourts.org/core/fileparse.php/304/urlt/Summary-UPL-Cases.pdf - "Generally speaking, a nonlawyer may sell legal forms and kits and complete them with information provided in writing by the customer. Florida Bar v. Brumbaugh, 355 So. 2d 1186 (Fla. 1978)." + https://law.justia.com/cases/florida/supreme-court/1978/48803-0.html - "In those decisions we held that it is lawful to sell to the public printed legal forms, provided they do not carry with them what purports to be instructions on how to fill out such forms or how to use them." (Florida Bar v. Brumbaugh, 355 So. 2d 1186 (Fla. 1978))

Hawaii - http://www.courts.state.hi.us/docs/court_rules/rules/hrpcond.htm

Illinois - https://www.isba.org/resources/upl + https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/committees/upl/uplfaq.pdf - "Many stores sell legal forms for use by the public. If you purchase this type of form or forms, and you fill them out to the best of your abilities you are representing yourself, which is legal."

Indiana - https://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/06060601ad.pdf - "In State ex rel. Indiana State Bar Association v. Indiana Real Estate Association, the Court stated: Generally, it can be said that the filling in of blanks in legal instruments, prepared by attorneys, which require only the use of common knowledge regarding the information to be inserted in said blanks, and general knowledge regarding the legal consequences involved, does not constitute the practice of law. However, when the filling in of such blanks involves considerations of significant legal refinement, or the legal consequences of the act are of great significance to the parties involved, such practice may be restricted to members of the legal profession. 244 Ind. 214, 220, 191 N.E.2d 711, 715 (1963)."

Iowa - https://www.legis.iowa.gov/docs/ACO/CourtRulesChapter/04-28-2017.32.pdf

Kansas - http://www.kscourts.org/rules/Rule-Info.asp?r1=rules+relating+to+discipline+of+attorneys&r2=17

Kentucky - https://www.kybar.org/page/unauthpracoflaw + https://www.kybar.org/page/opinsunauth + https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.kybar.org/resource/resmgr/Unauthorized_Practice_of_Law/kba_u-63.pdf - "The sale of these preprinted legal forms, in and of itself, does not constitute the unauthorized practice of law."

Maine - http://mebaroverseers.org/regulation/bar_rules.html?id=88251

Maryland - https://govt.westlaw.com/mdc/Document/N376B78503C0211E6BDB8F71DBFB0E872?viewType=FullText&originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=CategoryPageItem&contextData=(sc.Default)

Massachusetts - https://www.mass.gov/supreme-judicial-court-rules/rules-of-professional-conduct-rule-55-unauthorized-practice-of-law

Michigan - https://www.michbar.org/professional/upl + https://www.michbar.org/professional/caselaw + https://www.michbar.org/file/professional/pdfs/statebar_cramer.pdf - "The advertisement and distribution to the general public of forms and documents [...] with any textual instructions does not constitute the practice of law." State Bar of Michigan v. Cramer.

Missouri - http://revisor.mo.gov/main/ViewChapter.aspx?chapter=484 + https://www.courts.mo.gov/courts/ClerkHandbooksP2RulesOnly.nsf/c0c6ffa99df4993f86256ba50057dcb8/84187ab9f9f1995486256ca600521226 + "[The] sale of blank forms over the internet does not constitute the unauthorized practice of law." Janson v. LegalZoom.Com, Inc., 802 F. Supp. 2d 1053 (W.D. Mo. 2011).

Montana - https://www.montanabar.org/page/UPL - "The only thing that a "non-lawyer" can legally do for you is sell you a pre-printed form and type in the information that you provide to them."

Nebraska - https://supremecourt.nebraska.gov/attorneys/unauthorized-practice-law - The “practice of law” is the application of legal principles and judgments to specific circumstances to resolve a problem or decide how to proceed under the law.

Nevada - https://www.nvbar.org/wp-content/uploads/NevLawyer_March_2012_Practice_Tips-1.pdf - "simply providing forms or offering a service to type client-provided forms was not the practice of law"

New Hampshire - https://www.courts.state.nh.us/rules/pcon/pcon-5_5.htm

New Jersey - https://www.njcourts.gov/attorneys/assets/criminalcharges/unprlaw.pdf - "The following is a list of some, but by no means all, of the possible scenarios in which an unlicensed individual can "practice law" without violating this criminal statute. ... Marketing of Legal Forms. N. J. Comm. on Unauth. Pract. Op. 20 (Oct. 6, 1977)"

New York - "See, e.g., N.Y. County Lawyers’ Ass’n v. Dacey, 28 A.D.2d 161, 171 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dept. 1967) (Stevens, J., dissenting), rev’d, 21 N.Y.2d 694 (1967) (adopting dissenting opinion of Appellate Division, holding that incorporating legal forms into self-help book entitled “How to Avoid Probate!” was not the unauthorized practice of law)."

North Carolina - https://www.ncbar.gov/bar-programs/unauthorized-practice-of-law/ + https://www.ncbar.gov/media/299201/unauthorized-practice-of-law-statutes.pdf - "The practice of law, including the giving of legal advice, as defined by G.S. 84-2.1 does not include the operation of a Web site by a provider that offers consumers access to interactive software that generates a legal document based on the consumer’s answers to questions presented by the software" [LAW VOLCANO is not "interactive software"]

North Dakota - http://www.ndcourts.gov/court/notices/20050353/adopted/rule5.5.htm

Oregon - https://www.osbar.org/UPL/faq.html - "What is not the unlawful practice of law? ... Oregon statutes and case law provide that the following activities are generally not considered the unlawful practice of law in Oregon: ... sale of generic do-it-yourself legal publications without any further personalized assistance in preparation of documents or court papers"

Pennsylvania - https://www.pabar.org/public/committees/unautpra/Opinions/2010-01LglDocumentPreparation.pdf - It is the opinion of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee that the offering or providing [in Pennsylvania] of legal document preparation services as described herein (beyond the supply of preprinted forms selected by the consumer not the legal document preparation service), either online or at a site in Pennsylvania is the unauthorized practice of law and thus prohibited, unless such services are provided by a person who is duly licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania retained directly for the subject of the legal services.

South Carolina - https://sclawyersweekly.com/news/2014/04/30/s-c-supreme-court-oks-legalzoom/ + http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/legalzoom_business_model_okd_by_south_carolina_supreme_court/ + http://www.abajournal.com/files/SC_Supreme_Court_report_findings_fact_and_settlement_agreement.pdf - South Carolina Supreme Court approves business model allowing access to online legal documents: "The South Carolina Supreme Court has held that the sale of blank legal forms is not the unauthorized practice of law and their sale in South Carolina is permitted."

Tennessee - http://www.tsc.state.tn.us/sites/default/files/docs/myers-unauthorized_practice_of_law_in_tn-3-20-2015.pdf - "As a general matter, other courts have held that the sale of self-help kits or printed legal forms does not constitute the unauthorized practice of law as long as the seller provides the buyer no advice regarding which forms to use or how the forms should be filled out. Conversely, sellers who do advise customers on which forms to use and how to fill them out have been found to be engaging in the practice of law." Fifteenth Judicial Dist. Unified Bar Ass'n v. Glasgow, No. M1996-00020-COA-R3- CV, 1999 WL 1128847 (Tenn. Ct. App. 1999).

Texas - http://www.txuplc.org/Home/applaw - "the "practice of law" does not include the design, creation, publication, distribution, display, or sale, including publication, distribution, display, or sale by means of an Internet web site, of written materials, books, forms, computer software, or similar products if the products clearly and conspicuously state that the products are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney."

Utah - http://www.utahbar.org/public-services/unauthorized-practice-law/ + http://www.utcourts.gov/resources/rules/ucja/ch14/08%20Special%20Practice/USB14-802.html - "Rule 14-802. Authorization to practice law. ... (c) Whether or not it constitutes the practice of law, the following activity by a non-lawyer, who is not otherwise claiming to be a lawyer or to be able to practice law, is permitted: (c)(1) Making legal forms available to the general public, whether by sale or otherwise, or publishing legal self-help information by print or electronic media."

Vermont - https://www.vermontjudiciary.org/sites/default/files/documents/VermontRulesofProfessionalConduct.pdf

Virginia - http://www.vsb.org/pro-guidelines/index.php/rule_changes/item/revisions_to_UPL + http://www.vsb.org/docs/prop-UPL-050318.pdf - "The following actions do not constitute the practice of law: B. Selling legal forms"

West Virginia - https://www.atg.wa.gov/ago-opinions/appearance-non-attorney-nonattorneyin-administrative-proceedings-constituting - ". . . The completion of such blank forms does not require any knowledge and skill beyond that possessed by the ordinarily experienced and intelligent layman, and a layman may properly complete and file such forms [...] without engaging in the practice of law . . ." West Virginia State Bar v. Earley, 109 S.E. (2d) 420, 435 (1959)

Wisconsin - https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/misc/scr/23/01 - "SCR 23.02 License required to practice law; use of titles. (2) Exceptions and exclusions. A license to practice law and active membership in the State Bar of Wisconsin are not required for a person engaged in any of the following activities in Wisconsin, regardless of whether these activities constitute the practice of law: (g) Sale of legal forms in any format."

Wyoming - https://www.wyomingbar.org/for-the-public/attorney-compliants/report-an-unauthorized-practice-of-law-claim/ + https://www.courts.state.wy.us/court_rule/rules-governing-the-wyoming-state-bar-and-the-authorized-practice-of-law/ + https://www.courts.state.wy.us/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/RULES_GOVERNING_THE_WYOMING_STATE_BAR_AND_THE_AUTHORIZED_PRACTICE_OF_LAW.pdf + "Rule 7. Authorization to practice law. ... (c) Whether or not they constitute the practice of law, the following are not prohibited: ... (11) Nonlawyers selling legal forms in any format, so long as they do not advise or counsel another regarding the selection, use, or legal effect of the forms. Such forms shall clearly and conspicuously state that the forms are not a substitute for the advice of an attorney."

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If you have questions about this Jurisdiction Disclaimer, you may contact us at contact@lawvolcano.com.