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 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.
Written by Tom Gordon
Almost every driver has gotten a traffic ticket at some point. And almost every one of those drivers would have liked to have exercised their right to fight the ticket in court. Most decide not to, though, because of the expense of hiring a lawyer or taking time off to appear in court themselves.