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LegalZoom Sued for Unauthorized Practice of Law

LegalZoom claims to be one of the best legal document service providers on the web. However, LegalZoom is facing a class action lawsuit in Missouri on the grounds that it goes beyond placing information into a form and enters into the realm of drawing instruments or documents that affect or relate to secular rights. The plaintiffs filing the lawsuit include those who had used LegalZoom to incorporate and purchase a will.

LegalZoom never seemed to be a legitimate operation. When you visit the website, you find out that you will be charged $149 for a copyright registration. Considering the fact that the federal government charges only $35 for the same service, Legal Zoom’s price seems quite steep. They justify their high prices by saying that a lawyer would charge you approximately $780 to create and file a copyright application, but that information does not seem all that accurate.

Nevertheless, LegalZoom has been quite successful in selling legal forms and that too at premium prices. The state of North Carolina’s bar association and a few bloggers have stated that the company’s practices amount to the unauthorized practice of law.

Information about the lawsuit against LegalZoom is available at IPWatchDog. According to Gene Quinn at IPWatchDog, “while the LegalZoom model is one that has a lot of appeal, it seems to me that it is just too difficult to pull off without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law.”

What is your opinion about LegalZoom’s legal practices? Do you feel they cross ethical lines? Do you think they deserve the lawsuit? How has your experience been with LegalZoom? Share your comments, experiences and opinion about the case.