Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee
The Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of law was created by the Board of Governors of the State Bar of Arizona to address problems caused by the unauthorized practice of law. The committee's primary goal is protection of consumers of legal and law-related services. The Committee provides education concerning the unauthorized practice of law to consumers, community and business groups, court personnel and members of the Bar. The Committee also provides written, non-binding advisory opinions in response to inquiries from attorneys, consumers and others that can be answered by interpreting Rule 31 of the Supreme Court of Arizona, ER 5.5 of the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct, Arizona Supreme Court Rule 42, or the Arizona Code of Judicial Administration, Part 7, Chapter 2, Section 7-208 governing Certified Legal Document Preparers (the CLDP Code). The Committee also reviews Rule 31 and the CLDP Code and identifies issues that require clarification, modification, and/or comment and, if appropriate, may make recommendations, including Rule 28, petitions to the Arizona State Bar Board of Governors and the Arizona Supreme Court.
The Committee may issue opinions on its own initiative or in response to a a written request. A request for an advisory opinion may be made by an Arizona attorney, an out-of-state attorney, a consumer, or any other person or organization. It is within the Committee's discretion to determine whether to issue a written advisory opinion. The Committee shall issue written opinions of two types: Formal opinions and informal opinions. Formal opinions shall be limited to subjects or inquiries that raise an issue of significance or widespread interest, and shall be published. All other written opinions are intended to address questions of limited applicability or interest to persons other than the person requesting the opinion, and shall not be published.
The Committee will render formal written opinions in as anonymous a form as is reasonably feasible. To the extent possilbe, the Committee will not include information that would identify a specific person or entity by name or fact. The Committee's policy is to keep confidential the identity of inquiring persons and correspondence between them and the Committee. Similarly, the Committee's deliberations shall be confidential. The Committee will produce documents pursuant to a valid subpoena for relevant documents.
The Committee's jurisdiction is limited to the resolution of questions relating to the unauthorized practice of law. The Committee will not render opinions:
a) on questions of law other than questions under Rule 31 of the Supreme Court of Arizona, ER 5.5 of the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct, Arizona Supreme Court Rule 42 or the Arizona Code of Judical Administration, Part 7, Chapter 2, Section 7-208 governing Certified Legal Document Preparers (the CLDP Code);
b) on questions within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Board of Governors, the Disciplinary Commission, Board of Legal Document Preparers; another Bar Committee, or an official of the State Bar;
c) with respect to any case or controversy pending in any Arizona court or other tribunal unless requested by the court of tribunal.
The Committee will consider a written request to withdraw or modify a written opinion if the request is based upon a claim of legal error, factual error, or change in authority. Requests for reconsideration shall be addressed in accordance with the procedures set forth in the Committee's Procedural Guidelines.
No attorney client relationship is established between the person making the inquiry and staff of the State Bar or members of the Committee.
Opinions of the Unauthorized Practice of law Committee are the interpretation of the Committee, do not have the weight of law, and are not binding in any proceeding before a tribunal.
To conform to the Committee's Mission Statement; to provide comment to appropriate rule changes; to issue Advisory Opinions when requested.
For more information contact:
4201 N. 24th Street, Suite 100
Phoenix, AZ 85016-6266