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Ohio bar to lawyers: Naw, you AND your clients should suffer

Oh how I wish Carolyn Elefant is being read in Columbus, in Wooster, in the ferny law libraries and sweaty arbitration theatres of Ohio. Because today she is doing a true service to attorneys and needy clients alike. In "Ohio Bar Won't Allow Lawyers to Say They Offer Cut Rate Service," Elefant writes:

"As with all bar regulation, the rules sound benign enough in practice -- protecting consumers from deceptive practices and preventing lawyers from acting like undignified hucksters.  Here's the reality, though.  Services like We the People aren't subject to bar rules -- and thus, they're able to proclaim, as a tag line, that they offer "Low cost accurate document preparation."  Can an Ohio lawyer do the same?  As I read the commentary, I'd argue yes, but it's a close call since both "low cost" and "accurate" are characterizations of service.  And for that reason, the Ohio Bar's rules have a chilling effect on lawyers who want to advertise their service in a way that allows them to compete with We the People.

"Many bars have tried going after companies like We the People but the problem remains, that it's a service that fills a void for consumers who don't want to handle a case pro se and need affordable service.  Given that a need for affordable, basic service remains unmet, don't we want to do all we can to ensure that this service is provided by attorneys?  Overbearing and restrictive regulations like those of the Ohio Bar sure don't make that easy."

If you agree with me, go thank Elefant here.

Posted by Laurel Newby on January 25, 2006 at 05:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

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