Washington  |  Family Law

Legal Question

Asked on: 7/15/13, 2:04 pm

Can you legally represent somebody without being a lawyer. I.e. call and negotiate with other parties attorney. Represent them in a court hearing???

1 Answer

Answered on: 7/16/13, 12:43 pm by Amir John Showrai

No. It's just that simple.

The only exceptions come into play for CPAs who are qualified to represent tax payers before the IRS or other similar professionals representing clients before other similar administrative boards. However, when it comes to negotiating a case or appearing in court, only lawyers can do so in a representative fashion.

The boundaries of what behavior constitutes acting as a lawyer or giving legal advice is getting challenged all the time, with differing results in different jurisdictions. For example, there are electronic legal document preparation services, some of whom have been sued in individual suits and others in class action suits for the unauthorized practice of law. If you Google this topic, you will come up with a lot to read about. However, in no instance do these legal document preparation services or software call and negotiate on behalf of anyone, nor represent them in court.

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