Florida Supreme Court: "We'd Really Like To Help You, But We Just Can't. Only the Florida Supreme Court Can Help You."
by Tom Gordon
Yesterday, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that TIKD, an app that helped people affordably fight traffic tickets, was engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. If you want to read legal arguments about why TIKD's service does not fall under UPL laws, you should read Responsive Law's amicus brief in the case, as well as the dissenting opinion to the court's decision. But the bigger issue here is not the legal standard for UPL; it's the system that continues to maintain those laws as a weapon against consumer choice, while claiming they are a shield to protect consumers.
by Owen Walsh
On a late night in my first semester of college, I received a strange text from my older brother. I had always known him as a stubbornly independent kid, and now adult. The guy I knew would let a wound fester, and a black and blue limb fall off. Then, and only then, might he ask for Scotch tape to reattach it. So, I was disarmed when he asked for my help.
by Kaylee Willis
Children with disabilities have specific and unique needs when it comes to their education. Though the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) makes it so that all children with disabilities have access to a free appropriate public education designed to meet their unique needs, there are still many families that struggle to get the services the act entitles them to. The act makes appropriate evaluations, individualized educational plans (IEP), least restrictive environments, and parental participation the right of each special needs child. However, school boards often try to spend as little as possible on providing for children with disabilities, so parents must rely on the legal system to make sure schools provides for their children's needs.
Since lawyers are prohibitively expensive, making it difficult for qualified professionals to participate in the process leaves families with no affordable options for legal guidance. In September, the New Jersey Supreme Court Ethics Committee released an opinion that would make it even more difficult for families to get appropriate help from experts concerning their child’s special educational needs. In response, we submitted a comment which resulted in the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law superseding that opinion with one that answered many of our requests.
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.