Americans Would Have Better Access to Legal Help in a War Zone, Worldwide Study Finds
by Tom Gordon
Earlier this month, the World Justice Project released its annual Rule of Law Index, ranking the commitment of 139 countries to the rule of law. Although the United States ranked 27th overall, it continued to perform among the worst in the world in access to its civil legal system.
by Amanda Grau
TIKD, an application that enables users to be paired with an attorney based on an uploaded traffic ticket they wish to contest, has been embroiled in antitrust and unauthorized practice of law (UPL) litigation since 2017. In January 2019, there was a major win for the app and Christopher Riley, the app’s developer: the referee, appointed by the Florida Supreme Court as the court’s finder of fact for the UPL lawsuit, released a report in favor of TIKD. The report now goes to the Florida Supreme Court for adoption or rejection.
The referee, Judge Pooler, stated that although it is undisputed that TIKD is not authorized to practice law in Florida, TIKD is not a law firm nor a lawyer referral service and its operations did not involve UPL. “No reasonable person could conclude, based on the evidence submitted to the Referee, that TIKD or Riley hold themselves out as providers of legal services,” said Judge Pooler. Despite the positive ruling, TIKD has decided to suspend consumer traffic ticket services, perhaps in an effort to avoid future litigation. This is a blow to consumers looking for affordable legal support when dealing with unjust traffic tickets.
by Ridhi Shetty
After the State of Washington took several years to study its justice gap with little concrete action to bridge this gap, the Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) Board of Governors continues to drag out the process ordered by the Washington Supreme Court in January 2018 to bring limited license legal technicians (LLLTs), limited practice officers (LPOs), and public members onto the Board.
by Richard S. Granat
The New York State Bar has withdrawn its proposed resolution regarding online legal document preparation from consideration by the American Bar Association House of Delegates because of widespread opposition by other ABA entities. These other ABA entities were not given notice of the proposed resolution and did not have sufficient time to develop their substantive positions and make their views known. However, the New York State Bar is intending to resubmit the same resolution to the House of Delegates for approval at the ABA mid-year meeting (February 2019) in Las Vegas.
Written by Ridhi Shetty
For-profit legal referral will be prohibited by a new proposed ethics opinion by the State Bar of Michigan Professional Ethics Committee that states that for-profit legal referral services violate fee-sharing prohibitions under the Michigan Rules of Professional Conduct. Responsive Law has issued testimony opposing the proposed ethics opinion, urging the Committee to allow attorney participation in for-profit legal referral services to improve public access to justice.