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Legal Assistant to Face NC State Bar for Alleged UPL

The Herald-Sun is reporting that complaints alleging the unauthorized practice of law (UPL) by self-described legal assistant and business consultant, Darius Little, will be reviewed by the N.C. State Bar’s Authorized Practice Committee this week.

The article discusses in detail Little’s alleged UPL activities, some of which I’m listing here as examples of things not to do – if you are a self-employed legal professional who is not licensed to practice law or provide these services in your state:

  • Negotiate a contract agreement
  • Advise an individual on options for pursuing a restraining order
  • List an affiliation with a non-existent law firm
  • Pursue a malpractice claim against a hospital, including preparing settlement documents

Of note, the article says that Little’s LinkedIn profile is part of the bar investigative file, which he addressed in his responses to the complaints:

He also said most of his friends on the LinkedIn networking site know he’s not an attorney, and that he’s used the site to signal that he’s “always in the market, as an aspiring attorney, to be in a law office helping out and learning as much as possible.”

Just a word to the wise self-employed legal assistants out there, but most of your LinkedIn friends knowing that you’re not an attorney may not quite satisfy the ethical requirements for not holding yourself out as an attorney.

You can view Little’s current public LinkedIn profile here and see his legal aspirations for yourself. Last week, he was appointed to the Durham Planning Commission. This week, the N.C. State Bar will decide if he’s exceeded his reach as an “aspiring attorney.”

Source: The Herald-Sun; IndyWeek.com

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Contact Info:

Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]gmail.com

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

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