Formal Opinions

Opinion of Cumberland County Register of Wills

The formal opinions of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee are listed below. Click on any of the opinions for the full text. The opinions are included in the committee's Manual on the Unauthorized Practice of Law. Click here to access the manual. The current edition of the Manual on the Unauthorized Practice of Law is also available for purchase for $22.52, which includes tax and shipping. Please contact Suzanne Crist in the Committees Department to order a manual.


FORMAL OPINIONS OF THE UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE

OF LAW COMMITTEE

Formal Opinion 10-01

"It is the opinion of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee that the offering or providing [in Pennsylvania] of legal document preparation services as described herein (beyond the supply of preprinted forms selected by the consumer not the legal document preparation service), either online or at a site in Pennsylvania is the unauthorized practice of law and thus prohibited, unless such services are provided by a person who is duly licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania retained directly for the subject of the legal services."

Formal Opinion 06-01

"To clarify the extremely limited scope of non-attorney practice of law and legal representation permissible under federal law and to provide notice of its intention to actively pursue unauthorized practiced of immigration law by any persons not authorized to practice law by federal regulations."

Formal Opinion 99-101

"Concerning unauthorized practice of law before zoning hearing boards and governing bodies of municipalities in connection with land use applications."

Formal Opinion 98-101

"Unauthorized practice of law before County Board of Assessment Appeals by persons not licensed to practice law such as Tax Consultants, Certified Public Accountants, Public Accountants, Real Estate Brokers and/or Salespersons and State Certified Real Estate Appraisers and any other persons not licensed to practice law."

Formal Opinion 97-103

"Concerning the unauthorized practice of law by Public and Certified Public Accountants and other persons not licensed to practice law in the creation of Associations, as defined in Title 15, Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated, and the advertisement of those Associations as required by law."

Formal Opinion 97-102

"Unauthorized practice of law by Public and Certified Public Accountants and other unlicensed persons before the Register of Wills and the Orphans' Court Division of the Courts of Common Pleas of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

Formal Opinion 97-101

"Preparation of separation/marriage termination agreements by non-attorney divorce mediators."

Formal Opinion 96-108

"Does the appearance of an attorney's non-lawyer representative at a Bankruptcy 341 Meeting, at which meeting the non-attorney is asking questions that are focused on certain legal matters in the Bankruptcy Code as opposed to merely general information gathering, constitute the unauthorized practice of law, as does the 'Representation'of Petitioning bankrupts by non-attorneys?"

Formal Opinion 96-107

"Not Issued."

Formal Opinion 96-106

"Not Issued."

Formal Opinion 96-105

"Representation of Corporations by non-attorney Corporate Officers in the Courts of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."

Formal Opinion 96-104

"Representation of non-attorneys by means of Powers-of-Attorney."

Formal Opinion 96-103

"Independent paralegal organizations."

Formal Opinion 96-102

"Attendance at real estate settlements by Paralegals, real estate secretaries and other 'laypersons/non-attorneys' in place of designated legal counsel."

Formal Opinion 96-101

"Ability of non-Pennsylvania admitted attorneys to open offices for the practice of 'mmigration Law' Social Security Law', or other types of 'Federal Administrative' Practice."

Formal Opinion 94-107

"Authority of Notary Publics to prepare legal documents."

Formal Opinion 94-106

"Is an out-of-state attorney representing an out-of-state financial institution who conducts a settlement out-of-state for the financing of Pennsylvania real estate secured by a Mortgage to be recorded in Pennsylvania engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in Pennsylvania?"

Formal Opinion 94-105

"Is an out-of-state attorney who represents clients in Pennsylvania at a real estate settlement and provides them with advice on Pennsylvania Law with regard to that settlement engaged in the unauthorized practice of law?"

Formal Opinion 94-104

"Is an attorney authorized to have an office in Philadelphia for the practice of Immigration Law as a sole practitioner for the purpose of interviewing clients and preparing cases on their behalf when that attorney is not licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania?"

Formal Opinion 94-103B

"May an independent title insurance agency represent BUYERS or SELLERS in a real estate transaction in which no title insurance is being issued?"

Formal Opinion 94-103A

"May an independent title insurance agent prepare documentation, i.e. Deeds, Mortgages, Powers-of-Attorney, and other such documents connected with the real estate transaction in which they are NOT issuing title insurance?"

Formal Opinion 94-102

"Whether an individual who possesses a 'Paralegal Certificate' from Pennsylvania State University and has worked for a lawyer for several years as a Paralegal/Secretary can open her own business to specifically assist laypersons in filing legal documentation in various types of matters without being engaged in the unauthorized practice of law as set forth in 42 Pa. C.S.A. "2524."

Formal Opinion 94-101

"May an attorney who is not licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania appear before the Court or Commission pursuant to the Rules of that Court or Commission which does not permit admission pro hac vice?"





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