Illinois Bar Journal


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Articles on Unauthorized Practice of Law

Bill would let nonlawyers represent taxpayers in county tax appeals By Janan Hanna May 2014 LawPulse, Page 214 A now-dormant legislative proposal would authorize nonlawyers to represent taxpayers in county tax appeals. The ISBA is leading the fight against it.
Fighting UPL after Downtown Disposal By Kimberly Glasford November 2013 Article, Page 574 Downtown Disposal held that a layman's UPL on behalf of a corporation does not automatically void the proceedings. But the author argues that lawyers still have many UPL-fighting tools.
Lake County bans nonlawyer representatives at tax appeals board By Adam W. Lasker June 2013 LawPulse, Page 278 Lake is the latest Illinois county to confront UPL by prohibiting nonlawyers from representing parties before the tax appeals board of review.
The Battle Against Non-Lawyer Involvement in Legal Practice By John E. Thies January 2013 Column, Page 8 How ISBA is fighting efforts to allow non-lawyer ownership.
Corporate pleadings improper - but not void - when signed by non-attorney By Adam W. Lasker January 2013 LawPulse, Page 10 In Downtown Disposal, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that filings signed by a non-attorney are not null-and-void UPL and may be amended by lawyer.
The high court empowers the ARDC to go after UPL By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2012 LawPulse, Page 10 New rules give the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission authority to prosecute actions for the unauthorized practice of law.
UPL: Nonlawyers may represent employers before the IDES, appellate court holds By Helen W. Gunnarsson February 2010 LawPulse, Page 66 The Illinois Appellate Court held that nonlawyers who represent employers before the Illinois Department of Employment security in unemployment benefits hearings aren't engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.
Real estate lawyers fear “law related services” definition By Helen W. Gunnarsson January 2009 LawPulse, Page 10  Defining "law related services" in Illinois' ethics rules could encourage UPL, pose malpractice risks, and cause other problems, real estate lawyers tell the supreme court.
Living-trust scams: all too alive and well in Illinois By Helen W. Gunnarsson December 2006 LawPulse, Page 642 Meanwhile, a recent Indiana Supreme Court opinion unambiguously declares that drafting a testamentary trust is the practice of law.
Law firm’s failure to register under Rule 721 not UPL By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2005 LawPulse, Page 330 And that means an unregistered firm can collect its attorney fee award, the supreme court holds.
No unauthorized practice of law when lenders prepare documents July 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 336 On April 21, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, and the Circuit Court of Cook County's decision granting summary judgment to the defendant. 
Failure to register under Supreme Court Rule 721(c) does not amount to the unauthorized practice of law June 2005 Illinois Law Update, Page 280 On March 24, 2005, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the orders of both the appellate and circuit courts, which vacated an attorney fees award. 
The supreme court latest UPL case: a mixed blessing By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2005 LawPulse, Page 274 The supreme court allows nonlawyer lenders to charge for preparing mortgages but reaffirms that drafting and filling out real estate documents is the practice of law.
Murphy’s Law: A judge says “no” to UPL By Helen W. Gunnarsson July 2003 LawPulse, Page 326 An Illinois-based federal district judge takes a bold stand against UPL, and the seventh circuit affirms.
Fighting UPL By Helen W. Gunnarsson November 2001 LawPulse, Page 564 The ISBA's three-front war against the unauthorized practice of law is proceeding.
Correspondence from Our Readers August 2001 Column, Page 390 Are we "title agents practicing law"?
The Fight Against UPL Continues By Tim Eaton July 2001 Column, Page 336 Traditionally, the inaugural President's Page is devoted to the new president's own programs for the coming year or to giving him or her an opportunity to share some personal insights or words of wisdom.
Correspondence from Our Readers April 2001 Column, Page 162 Helping property taxpayers with reductions: not necessarily UPL?
Persistence Pays in the Fight Against UPL By Herb Franks April 2001 Column, Page 164 In the struggle between the stone and the water, in time, the water wins. -Chinese proverb      
UPL and Property Tax Assessment Appeals in Illinois By Thomas J. McNulty December 2000 Article, Page 710 Make no mistake about it—representing taxpayers before Illinois assessment officials constitutes the practice of law, this author says.
UPL Task Force Moves Ahead By Herb Franks October 2000 Column, Page 556 I began my year as president of the Illinois State Bar Association by saying I would start no new programs.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath August 2000 Column, Page 434 You still have the right to remain silent; UPL and in-house counsel; and more.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath March 2000 Column, Page 124 Public defenders and legal malpractice; lawyers can commit UPL; and more.
ALLERTON HOUSE CONFERENCE ’98: Confronting and Embracing Changes in the Practice of Law By Ellen E. Deason November 1998 Article, Page 628 UPL, ADR, judicial independence, technology—all were on the docket at this year's forward-looking Allerton House Conference.