Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Florida Supreme Court to hear oral arguments in case on whether company that provides help through an app is engaging in the practice of law

Almost a year ago, I wrote about a couple of complaints filed in Florida that I argued could challenge the very notion of professional regulation.  In one of them a law firm argued that a technology company was practicing law, while in the other the company challenged the notion of the regulation of the profession under antitrust laws. 

You can read my original post here, which begins with this background information:  "TIKD is a company that promises consumers to take care of their traffic tickets (with a money back guarantee).  The consumer pays a fee to the company and the company takes care of everything, including hiring a lawyer to represent the consumer.   Based on this business model, a law firm in Florida filed a complaint with the Florida Bar alleging that TIKD was practicing law without a license.  . . . . Meanwhile, TIKD went on the offensive and filed a federal lawsuit against the Florida Bar, the law firm, and others alleging, among other things, antitrust violations and that the Florida Bar and the law firm are engaged in a “concerted effort” to put TIKD out of business."

This second lawsuit (the anti-trust lawsuit) was dismissed, but the Florida Supreme Court will hear oral arguments today to consider whether TIKD's business model constitutes practicing law.

Bloomberg law has more details on the story here.

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