Unauthorized Practice of the Law

Between 6/14/02 and 4/15/03, the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, through staff counsel, investigated 124 complaints of the unauthorized practice of law, down from 139 in 2001-2002. The majority of these complaints were closed after the subject agreed to cease the questioned activity. In other cases, there was insufficient evidence of improper activity. In four cases, sufficient evidence was uncovered to warrant the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee to seek authorization from the State Bar Board of Commissioners to initiate litigation against the individuals, two of the matters are pending. Permanent injunctions were issued against:

REID, KEVIN W. , d/b/a Taxpayers Defense League, Inc. Global Tax Solutions, Inc., Tax Defense Counsel, Inc., Circuit Court of Ingham County, Case No. 02-711-CZ. Respondent operates a business ostensibly assisting other individuals with their tax matters with both the IRS and Michigan Department of Revenue. SBM received two complaints regarding Respondent. Respondent provided the individuals with several legal documents, including a Family Trust and a Living Trust. Non-lawyer representation is allowed at the Michigan Department of Revenue and the extent of authority for non-lawyer representation on IRS matters is unclear; the injunction entered 8/27/02 enjoins Respondent from drafting legal documents, choosing legal documents and performing any services for others that may constitute the practice of law.

WILSON, JOHN H. d/b/a University Legal Services, Circuit Court of Oakland County, # No. 02-043580-CZ. Non-lawyer operated a business offering to research the "post-conviction remedies" available to incarcerated individuals. The business, for a substantial fee, claimed to perform legal research, advise the individual about their legal remedies and then draft the necessary document. Few, if any services, were ever provided. In addition, the company misappropriated the name of a validly licensed Michigan attorney, who was not affiliated with the business, in conducting this operation. Injunction against John Wilson and University Legal Services entered 1/29/03, enjoining Defendants from drafting legal documents, providing legal advice and providing legal services.

In addition, the Committee, through staff counsel, initiated one show cause proceeding against a respondent previously enjoined from engaging in the practice of law and received two complaints alleging a violation of previously entered injunctions, which are currently in the process of being investigated and may be litigated.