Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wash. AG’s Settlement with LegalZoom

Wash. AG’s Settlement with LegalZoom Bars Fee Comparisons Absent Disclosure

Excerpts: A settlement bars the company from comparing its document costs to attorney fees unless it discloses that its service isn’t a substitute for a law firm, a press release says.
In an “assurance of discontinuance,” LegalZoom also promises to refrain from:
• Failing to offer estate-planning forms that conform to Washington law.
• Engaging in the unauthorized practice of law by providing individualized legal advice about a self-help form.
• Selling consumer information to third parties, unless they are given a chance to opt in.
Writing at his eLawyering blog, ABA Journal legal rebel Richard Granat says other state attorneys general should take notice. He sees value in having trained paralegals help consumers complete legal forms, but he doesn’t like LegalZoom’s promise that it will “put the law on your side.” “It is time to level the playing field by requiring LegalZoom to disclose clearly the limitations of the services it provides,” he writes.

Read more.

From the ABA Journal Law News Now -- Sept. 21, 2010
Posted Sep 21, 2010 8:06 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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