Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Practice of Law Definition Hits New Roadblock

Hawaii state Attorney General Mark J. Bennett is speaking out against the revised rules concerning the definition of practice of law, dealing a fresh blow to the Hawaii State Bar Association's efforts.

Last month, the bar association submitted a revised draft of the new definition of the practice of law, after accountants, insurance agents, real estate brokers, and other professionals accused lawyers of trying to steal their work. The new draft makes a point of saying that the definition should not restrict anyone from doing their usual business; however, Bennett cannot support the revised rules because they are full of exceptions and exclusions that are overly broad, ambiguous, or quite simply "do not make sense."

The new draft contains a dozen exemptions, including the preparation of real estate contracts, purchase and lease agreements and tax returns; selling or soliciting insurance and annuity products; performing paralegal services; and selling legal forms to the public.

There are other exemptions for individuals who choose to represent themselves in court, who participate in labor negotiations and arbitrations or who lobby at the Legislature.

The proposed rules are available on the Hawaii State Judiciary’s Web site at www.courts.state.hi.us.

(Source: Pacific Business News (Honolulu))

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1 comment:

  1. It's interesting to note that an American Bar Association (ABA) task force specifically directed to prepare a model definition of the practice of law abandoned its task in March 2003. The members of the task force could not come to an agreement on the definition.

    It's no wonder then that every state has it's own definition of the practice of law and that they all vary slightly.

    I recently posted an article titled 'UPL: Watch For These Red Flags' at http://snipurl.com/auw9z

    Vicki Voisin, ACP


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