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Aug. 2, 2010
Supreme Court Adopts Changes to Unauthorized Practice of Law Rules

Under changes to the Supreme Court of Ohio Rule governing the Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL), the Ohio Attorney General will be authorized to investigate and prosecute UPL cases starting Sept. 1. Justices concurred 7-0 in adopting the amendments.

The revisions to Section 4 of Rule VII of the Rules for the Government of the Bar of Ohio will provide caseload assistance for the volunteer attorneys who investigate and prosecute UPL cases on behalf of bar associations, according to Michelle Hall, Attorney Services Counsel at the Supreme Court. She anticipates that the Attorney General’s Office will prosecute one or two complex UPL cases annually. The current rule only authorized Disciplinary Counsel and bar associations with UPL committees to initiate UPL cases.

Other changes to Rule VII include:

The amendments also call for one change to Gov. Bar R. VI (Registration of Attorneys) since the revised definition of UPL would identify the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline as the proper venue for UPL complaints against suspended attorneys. (Gov. Bar R. VI currently says an attorney suspended for failure to meet registration requirements may be referred for investigation to the UPL board.)

View the text of the amendments to Gov. Bar R. VII.

View the text of the amendments to Gov. Bar. R. VI..

Contact: Chris Davey or Bret Crow at 614.387.9250.

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