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Opinion

 Question(s)

KBA U-1May the officers, agents, employees or servants of a bank or loan company prepare deeds where a lien is retained by the corporation; or mortgages to secure their loans; or wills naming the bank as a personal representative?
KBA U-2May a district adjuster, a full-time salaried employee of a Workmen's Compensation insurer, who is also an attorney, admitted to the Bar of this state, properly practice Workmen's Compensation cases for his employer? 
KBA U-3May a person who is an expert in traffic and freight and a qualified practitioner before the Interstate Commerce Commission, represent a corporation of which he is an officer before the State Department of Motor Transportation? 
KBA U-4May a corporation procure from the Kentucky Unemployment Compensation Commission periodically transcripts of the employer's history; maintain current records of the employer's payroll, contributions, and charges to its account; advising the employer regarding procedure in completing forms and reports necessary to be filed with the Unemployment Compensation Commission; analyzing all claims for compensation flied against an employer and, in general, help the employer procure the best possible merit rate at the Kentucky Unemployment Compensation Commission? 
KBA U-5Deleted by Opinion KBA U-28, October 1980. 
KBA U-6May a duly elected and authorized officer of a bank, savings and loan association, or other lending institution, not acting in a fiduciary capacity, draw a legal instrument, such as a mortgage, security agreement, or financing statement for and on behalf of such bank, savings and loan association, or other lending institution, if it is a party to the instrument, and the person received no remuneration for that particular service? 
KBA U-7If a layman, who is the only incorporator or one of several lay incorporators, prepares and files articles of incorporation, has he engaged in the unauthorized practice of law? 
KBA U-8May a bank present printed forms to a customer whereby the customer could deposit with the bank as trust property where the income from the property would be paid to the settlor of the trust whereupon the trust would be revocable upon thirty days notice from either party or on death of the customer, the trust property, together with an accumulated income, would be paid to the settlor's estate? 
KBA U-9Does the following set of facts include the unauthorized practice of law? A firm of accountants was contacted by a business firm who acted on the recommendations of their attorney that it was desirable for the said business firm to reorganize their corporation in order to qualify under §368 of the Internal Revenue Code as a tax free transaction. Upon receipt of this information, the business firm contacted its firm of accountants for advice, and pursuant to the same, proceeded to prepare for said firm a request for ruling and reorganization plan and to submit same to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue for a ruling. 
KBA U-10Where an individual, not a licensed attorney, distributes professional cards asserting he is a “Tax Law Consultant" is he engaged in the practice of law? 
KBA U-11Does the completion of a printed real estate mortgage form by a lay employee of a governmental lending agency, using information furnished by an attorney, the form containing a printed facsimile of the signature of an attorney who is not an employee or officer of the specific agency as the preparer of the mortgage, constitute the unauthorized practice of law by the lay employee or by the agency? 
KBA U-12May an individual, not a licensed attorney, who is an employee of a city of second class and also a member of a labor union which has been recognized by the city as the bargaining agent for city employees appear before the City Civil Service Commission and represent other employees on charges of misconduct? 
KBA U-13Does an incorporated collection agency engage in the practice of law when it makes demand upon an individual for an unguaranteed corporate debt by a letter threatening legal proceedings displaying thereon a logo of a judge with the scales of justice in the background?
KBA U-14May a corporation, employing personnel not licensed to practice law, provide legal research and related services to licensed attorneys on a fee basis without constituting the unauthorized practice of law? 
KBA U-15May a layman represent a claimant at a hearing before a referee of the Unemployment Insurance Commission without constituting the unauthorized practice of law. 
KBA U-16May an engineering company contract with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Department of Transportation, Bureau of Highways, to provide the state with, among other things, title opinions for real estate involved in a road building project, when those opinions are prepared by licensed attorneys? 
KBA U-17

May a non-lawyer who is a tax consultant or a certified public accountant represent a corporation or individuals before the Kentucky Board of Tax Appeals? May an officer or employee of a corporation, who is the “in-house counsel” to said corporation, represent the corporation before the Kentucky Board of Tax Appeals?

KBA U-18May any person, who is not licensed to practice law in Kentucky, be employed by the Governor of Kentucky by virtue of the authority vested in him by KRS 12.210(1) without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law? 
KBA U-19Since the Kentucky Bar Association and the Kentucky Supreme Court have recognized only attorneys and legal interns to engage in specific limited aspects relating to the practice of law, can titles which give the appearance of legal training or certification (such as paralegal professional. legal assistant, legal aid,. legal representative, social work coordinator, welfare rights coordinator) be used on letterhead stationery, any written documents filed at a fair hearing, or any written documents filed with a quasi-judicial body? Can individuals who are neither attorneys nor legal interns represent an individual at a fair hearing whether these individuals are paralegals, legal representatives, or “friends” the claimant has asked to represent him? If an individual who is a legal intern does represent someone at a fair hearing, must all documents filed for the record be signed by a supervising attorney if legal issues and arguments are presented therein? Can individuals who are neither attorneys nor legal interns represent an individual before a quasi-judicial body (the Kentucky Unemployment Insurance Commission and Public Assistance Appeal Board), including the filing of documents with the quasi- judicial body in which legal issues and arguments are presented? If a legal intern does represent an individual before the quasi-judicial body, must all documents filed for the record be signed by a supervising attorney? In cases which are filed in a court of law (e.g., judicial review of the Commission's or Appeal Board's decision, declaratory judgment, federal civil rights action), is it proper for an individual who is neither an attorney nor legal intern, nor a plaintiff, to sign the court filed document and be designated by one of the above mentioned titles (legal assistant, paralegal professional, etc.), even though the attorney has signed the documents?
KBA U-20May the resident manager of a corporation go to the Small Claims Court (KRS 24A.200) to practice a case against someone who owes the corporation money on an account? 
KBA U-21Is a title insurance company which has lay persons or staff attorneys issue title insurance policies engaged in the unauthorized practice of law? Is a title insurance company which has lay persons or staff attorneys examine titles and render title opinions to the general public engaged in the unauthorized practice of law? Is a title insurance company which has lay persons or staff attorneys prepare form mortgages for which no charge is made and which are reviewed by legal counsel either staff or private, engaged in the unauthorized practice of law?
KBA U-22Where a secretary or other non-attorney delivers a motion to the secretary or clerk of a Judge, and where said court personnel then tenders the papers to the Judge and then recontacts the non-attorney to inform her that the order has either been signed or denied, and where the non-attorney then retrieves the papers from the court personnel, is this violative of the standards concerning the unauthorized practice of law? 
KBA U-23Where a bank or other financial institution employs a “legal department” which is staffed with salaried attorneys who act on behalf of the bank in telephone calls, conferences, filing papers in court, and appearing at depositions, is the bank, as a corporation, engaged in the unauthorized practice of law? 
KBA U-24May a corporation other than a legal professional service corporation, the membership of which is composed entirely of attorneys, which has been organized to promote the particular public cause reflected in its corporate name, designate itself, in that corporate name, as counsel of record in a judicial proceeding to which it is not a party provided a member-attorney signs all pleadings as representative of the corporate entity? 
KBA U-25Does the conduct of an income tax instructional course by an organization or lay individuals constitute the unauthorized practice of law? 
KBA U-26 Whether a non-attorney debt collector who periodically examines his or her collection records and decides which of the debtors’ accounts are to be garnished and when such garnishment should take place is engaged in the unauthorized practice of law?
KBA U-27Must a nonresident attorney be assisted by local co-counsel when he represents his client and employer in an administrative healing in Kentucky? May a non-attorney employee of a corporation represent the corporation in an administrative hearing where the formal roles of evidence are observed?
KBA U-28May a lawyer county judge practice probate cases and other civil cases within the county that the judge is elected? 
KBA U-29May a nonprofit corporation draft and compile ordinances, codes and regulations for cities and counties? May members of a nonprofit corporation interpret codes, ordinances, and regulations for city or county officials if they are nonlawyers?
KBA U-30Is a County Clerk who complies with Senate Bill 305 and issues a statement indicating the amount of all liens existing as to property to an insurance company engaged in the unauthorized practice of law? 
KBA U-31Does a real estate mortgage lender, or a title insurance company on behalf of a real estate mortgage lender, commit the unauthorized practice of law by performing the ministerial acts necessary in the closing of a real estate loan? 
KBA U-32May a non-lawyer (including, but not limited to, an independent "employee benefit consulting firm" or an independent "financial consulting firm") either directly, or through its employees, provide services to the public relating to the establishment of pension and profit sharing plans and trusts? 
KBA U-33May a non-lawyer advise another concerning the legal sufficiency of an employee benefit plan? 
KBA U-34May an individual not a licensed attorney, appear before a faculty grievance committee as representative of another individual in proceedings before the university faculty grievance committee? May an individual, not a licensed attorney, appear before a student grievance committee representing another student in proceedings before the student committee?Would a hearing officer be in violation of SCR 3.470 if the officer presided at a hearing in which a representative not a licensed attorney purported and attempted to represent an individual in a proceeding before the quasi-judicial body?
KBA U-35May a paralegal represent the Department of Justice in a hearing before the Board of Claims at which time the paralegal would present evidence including cross examination of witnesses without an attorney from the Department of Justice being present? 
KBA U-36May an insurance company employ in-house counsel (salaried employees) to represent their insured after a lawsuit has been filed? May an employee of an insurance company negotiate a settlement with the plaintiff’s attorney after suit has been filed?
KBA U-37May an individual, not an attorney, prepare and file Petitions, Orders and various documents in District Court on behalf of an estate, without the assistance of an attorney? 
KBA U-38May the manager of rental real estate, who is not lawyer and does not own the real estate, prepare and file a writ of forcible detainer without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law? May such manager examine witnesses at the hearing upon a motion for forcible detainer? May such manager appear at the hearing upon forcible detainer and testify, even though an attorney may not be present?
KBA U-39Does the filing of a final settlement in an estate, by a Certified Public Accountant, constitute the unauthorized practice of law? 
KBA U-40May an attorney enter an agreement to prepare wills for the primary clients (insured persons) of an insurance agency, at the expense of that insurance agency? 
KBA U-41May an attorney or layman organize a Court Service to provide courier and filing services for practicing lawyers? May that service also obtain court dates, and appear at motion dockets and calendar calls?
KBA U-42May licensed real estate brokers or licensed sales persons complete standard form agreements in connection with real estate transactions? 
KBA U-43May professional engineers, contractors, and other non-lawyers, (1) represent clients in adjudicative or quasi-adjudicative proceedings before zoning boards and zoning authorities if such proceedings involve the taking of evidence, examination or cross-examination of witnesses, or the presentation of legal points and authorities, or (2) give legal advice to such parties? 
KBA U-44May a bank distribute forms for “living wills" and assist their customers by notarizing “living will” instruments? 
KBA U-45Does Kentucky recognize the concept of a “free-standing” paralegal service in which a paralegal provides legal services directly to members of the public? May a paralegal, or any other non-lawyer, including a disbarred or suspended lawyer or a lawyer who has surrendered his or her license, provide services to the public by selecting and completing forms for filing in court?
KBA U-46May members of the staff of Nursing Home Ombudsman Agency of the Bluegrass, Inc., who are not lawyers admitted to the Kentucky Bar Association, represent patients of nursing homes, or the families of nursing home residents, in transfer and discharge hearing? 
KBA U-47The following question regarding paralegals refers to scenarios in which the paralegal is outside of the office talking to clients and the paralegal’s supervising attorney is not present. The supervising lawyer has asked: “Is the paralegal’s rendering of advice the unauthorized practice of law if: (1) it is made clear that the paralegal is not a lawyer; (2) the lawyer discusses the specific issues with the paralegal both before the paralegal-client discussions and afterwards; and (3) the attorney accepts full responsibility for the paralegals actions and advice?” 
KBA U-48May an insurance adjuster, claiming authority under KRS 304.9-070 and KRS 304.9-430, represent a member of the public, and accept compensation, in negotiating for an effecting the settlement of a claim for loss or damage. 
KBA U-49May an individual who is an non-attorney, who has been designated “attorney in fact” or who has been given “power of attorney,” represent a third party in court by creating, submitting, and/or signing pleadings, motions or agreed orders? 
KBA U-50May a financial and tax consulting firm, with lawyer and non-lawyer employees, solicit estate planning business and for a fee prepare estate planning documents for individual customers? 
KBA U-51Does a person, firm, partnership, corporation or other entity engage in the unauthorized practice of law when, not being an attorney licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, said entity on behalf of another, and in an attempt to collect a debt, implies that the entity is an attorney and threaten
litigation? 
KBA U-52May non-lawyers represent parties before the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims? May non-lawyers serve as “workers compensation specialists” for the Kentucky Department of Workers’ Claims?
KBA U-53May nonlawyer inmates represent other inmates in civil matters in court? 
KBA U-54May a lay person search a real estate title and render an opinion as to quality and quantity of title to a non-lawyer third person without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law? May a lay person search a real estate title and report to a non-lawyer third person the existence and contents of recorded documents without expressing an opinion as to the validity enforceability, quality or quantity of title found in those records without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law?
KBA U-55May a county Property Valuation Administrator, who is not a licensed attorney, when named in his official capacity as a party in a tax appeal case, participate in the hearing to the extent of conducting direct, cross, rebuttals, openings and closings, without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law? 
KBA U-56Does the appearance of an individual, not licensed as an attorney, before the Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet on behalf of a third person, corporation or another entity, at a penalty assessment conference, constitute the unauthorized practice of law? 
KBA U-57 May a lay individual licensed in Kentucky as a “public adjuster” under KRS 304.9-430, and 806 KAR 9:030, who is not a licensed attorney, represent claimants in the handling and processing of claims against tortfeasors and/or their insurers?
KBA U-58May real estate closings be conducted by persons who are not real parties in interest without direct supervision of a licensed attorney?  May title agencies or title insurance companies conduct real estate closings?
KBA U-59May a lay person prepare a mechanics lien statement for filing with a county clerk on behalf of another person without engaging in the unauthorized practice of law? 
KBA U-60May a for-profit or non-profit corporation draft articles of incorporation for a new Kentucky corporation when the drafter has no beneficial interest in the new entity? 
KBA U-61May an insurance adjuster represent an insured at court ordered mediation? 
KBA U-62May a for-profit or non-profit corporation draft articles of incorporation for a new Kentucky corporation when the drafter has no beneficial interest in the new entity? 
KBA U-63Does a non-attorney business entity or corporation, whose business is the creation, preparation or typing of legal forms and documents, engage in the unauthorized practice of law when, in addition to
creating, preparing or typing the forms, the non-attorney or entity assists in the identification of the purchaser’s legal goal and advises the purchaser on the proper choice and utilization of the forms to
achieve their legal goal? Does the answer to Question 1 change if the non-attorney business entity or corporation uses the services of an attorney, even if referred to as a “supervising,” “on call” or “employee” attorney?
KBA U-64Can a non-lawyer request that a board or agency initiate an administrative action and grant a hearing or file an answer on behalf of an otherwise unrepresented corporation or other artificial entity in an administrative hearing? Can a non-lawyer call himself or others, on behalf of an otherwise unrepresented corporation or other artificial entity, as a witness and provide fact testimony at an administrative hearing? Can a hearing officer call a witness to provide fact testimony at an administrative hearing?

As new opinions are issued they will be added to this online listing.

more Calendar

10/5/2016 » 10/6/2016
2016 Kentucky Law Update (Louisville)

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