Has your mother-in-law ever asked you for legal help? Giving legal advice to family members can be challenging for lots of reasons — but it comes with the territory when you have a law license. A Colorado lawyer, however, recently got into disciplinary trouble for helping his Minnesota in-laws in a small collection matter. In a badly flawed decision, the Minnesota Supreme Court decided that he’d engaged in the unauthorized practice of law.
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Tensed Businesswoman Using Computer At DeskWith the goal of positioning his on-line legal forms company as a solution to America’s access-to-justice problem, Chas Rampenthal, General Counsel of LegalZoom, zoomed through my home state last week, with two speaking engagements.  I caught his speech at a breakfast meeting at my home-town bar association, the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association (@clemetrobar).

A panacea

U.S. MapWe’ve written before to remind in-house lawyers that even if you don’t sign pleadings or appear in court on behalf of your corporate employer, you are still practicing law when you give advice and participate in business transactions on your employer’s behalf.  If you do so without being duly licensed, you are straying into unauthorized