LegalZoom Sues North Carolina Bar

October 7th, 2011

From the ABA Journal:

The online legal document company LegalZoom has sued the North Carolina State Bar in an effort to gain registration for its legal services plan.

The suit also seeks a ruling that its business model doesn’t constitute the unauthorized practice of law, according to a press release and the Raleigh News & Observer.

The bar had issued a cease-and-desist letter to Legal Zoom in 2008, and later cited the letter when it refused to register the company’s legal services plan.

The News & Observer quotes LegalZoom’s Raleigh lawyer A.P. Carlton Jr., a former ABA president. “This is the first time in their history they have filed a lawsuit,” Carlton said of his client. “They did not want to do this, but after being rebuffed at every turn, they had to take a look at their options from a business perspective. What this lawsuit is about is the principle of being able to engage in business in North Carolina free of unlawful government restraint.”

From the presser:

Following recent actions by the North Carolina State Bar, including refusing a request to meet and discuss their differences, LegalZoom has filed suit against the Bar requiring them to register LegalZoom’s pre-paid legal service plans and seeking confirmation that its business model is lawful. The complaint was filed in the Wake County court and served last Friday.