Monday, June 27, 2016

North Carolina legislature amends definition of practice of law as part of agreement with Legal Zoom

Last December I reported that the North Carolina Bar and Legal Zoom reached a consent agreement which suspended the litigation between them for two years or until the legislature approved an amendment to the definition of the practice of law.

The amendment was finally approved about a week ago when the House and the Senate both unanimously passed House Bill 436 after a conference committee spent months negotiating the final language in the bill.

The measure now heads to Gov. Pat McCrory.

The bill redefines the term "practice of law" in the state by exempting services that provide blank legal documents. The services must register with the State Bar every year, and each type of document must be reviewed and approved by a licensed North Carolina attorney before going online. The services also must include a disclaimer that the online documents aren't a substitute for seeking legal advice, and any customer satisfaction disputes must be referred to the State Bar.

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