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Scope of nonlawyer representation

Chicago, IL |
Filed under: Trusts

I have three questions:
1. can a nonlawyer represent trust/housing coop in court?
2. can a nonlaywer represent trust/housing coop in arbitration/mediation proceedings?
3. can a nonlawyer prepare trust agreement (in whole) without beneficiaries written approval?

Attorney Answers 4

  1. More facts are needed to answer your questions. Non lawyers cannot act as lawyers. So as to questions 1 and 2, in what capacity would they appear? As to 3, it is unwise, but many people attempt to draft their own estate documents. My best advice is to consult in private with an attorney who can get to the bottom of your questions and advise you appropriately. Best of luck.

    Answer given for general advice and is not a legal opinion, which would require an analysis of the facts and circumstances as well as the applicable law and regulations.

  2. The answer to all your questions is that legal representation requires an attorney licensed in the state in which the representation is needed. Practicing law without a license is a crime, at least in Illinois, where your question originated. So then the next question is whether the activities you ask about are legal representation. If you have a doubt, you should assume the answer is yes and make your decisions accordingly. The activities you specifically ask about would be considered the practice of law.

  3. An non-lawyer may not hold themselves out to be a lawyer and/or practice law. If a non-lawyer practices law, it is considered the unauthorized practice of law. Hire a lawyer to handle your legal matters.

  4. No, no, and no. As to your comments to other attorneys regarding your last question, preparing a trust agreement on behalf of someone else would unquestionably be the practice of law.

    For more information: By the very nature of Avvo, you have only provided limited facts and no documentation, therefore, our response to your question is treated only as a hypothetical, and as such it is merely general in nature. You should not rely on this response in taking or forgoing action in your circumstances without discussing this matter with an attorney. If we had the opportunity to ask you sufficient questions and review relevant documents so that we were satisfied we had all of the relevant facts and circumstances, our response might differ significantly. Without the opportunity to ask you questions, and review all relevant documents and memoranda, we are simply unable to provide any form of legal advice. Our response to your question does not create any attorney-client relationship between us, and we are not acting as your attorney. We reserve the right to decline representation in any case. By answering your question, we are under no obligation to answer further questions. There are very specific deadlines for filing a lawsuit, replying to a lawsuit filed against you, or taking other action in order to preserve your legal rights. You should contact an attorney immediately in order to be fully advised of your rights, and so that you are aware of those deadlines. If you fail to act within the required time frame, you might be forever barred from asserting your rights or defending your position. The attorney answering this question is licensed in Illinois and Iowa only.

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