by Tom Gordon
Yesterday, our community lost one of its great advocates, as Paula Littlewood died after a battle with cancer. Paula served as the executive director of the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) for twelve years, and had served on Responsive Law's board of directors for the last two years.
by Michaela Reger
Responsive Law has submitted comments to the Utah Supreme Court in support of its proposed reforms to regulation of legal services in the state.
The Court’s proposal (known as the “Sandbox”) would eliminate restrictions on non-lawyer ownership of law firms. For law businesses that choose to include nonlawyer ownership, there would be a new regulatory body using outcomes- and risk-based approaches to balance increased access to justice with actual consumer harm.
by Paul Avelar
As has been previously discussed here, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has been considering recommendations from its own Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee in three cases involving real-estate closings and related services. The Court has issued its decision, and it is mostly a victory for consumers.
by Tom Gordon
Responsive Law has submitted comments to the California Task Force on Access Through Innovation in Legal Services (ATILS) in response to its proposed reforms to regulation of legal services in the state.
Overall, we like the task force’s proposal. It does a good job of balancing the potential for increased access to legal services against the potential for consumer harm. Additionally, it looks at regulation as something that needs to address specific potential harms, rather than taking regulations that were created decades ago to govern potential misconduct by lawyers and treating the regulation itself as the principle to be preserved, rather than looking at the reason behind the regulation and seeing whether it is still the best way to address a particular regulatory objective.
By Amanda Grau
Responsive Law and the Center for Public Interest Law have filed an amicus brief supporting TIKD Services, LLC in a lawsuit brought against the company by the Florida Bar in 2017.
TIKD developed a mobile app giving users an affordable option for fighting unfair traffic tickets. For less than the cost of the ticket, users upload claims for evaluation by TIKD staff then connected with a licensed Florida attorney. If the ticket holds up in court, TIKD absorbs any additional cost accrued.
As the app gained popularity in Florida and took business from the Ticket Clinic, a traditional law firm, the Ticket Clinic filed a complaint. The Florida Bar responded with a baseless claim that TIKD was engaging in unlicensed practice of law (or UPL). In January 2019, the court-appointed referee, Judge Teresa Pooler, released her report in favor of TIKD. The Bar opposed the report and is asking the Florida Supreme Court to reject it with absolutely no evidence of consumer harm. The Ticket Clinic, a Florida law firm, filed an amicus brief supporting the Bar’s opposition. The Bar’s embarrassing claim and the Ticket Clinic’s brief reveal their true fear of losing a monopolistic dominance over legal services.