Unauthorized Practice of Law and the Fiance Visa

August 28, 2013 in Attorney Blog

On August 21, 2013, the Ohio Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law recommended that the State Supreme Court find that Thomas Jones, Jr., a non-lawyer in Cleveland, is guilty of the unauthorized practice of law because he helped prepare real estate deeds for two Cleveland homeowners. The Ohio board furthers asserts that legal documents—including deeds, contracts, and trusts—may not be prepared by a non-lawyer for the benefit of another.

In other words, the Ohio Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law is seeking a State Supreme Court ruling that would forbid any non-lawyer to prepare a form for the benefit of another person. If the Supreme Court rules in favor of the board, it will become criminal for a non-lawyer to prepare a fiancé visa petition for another person.

This current case may be the start of a major crackdown on non-lawyers who operate forms services. Non-lawyers do not possess the skills and training to represent people in immigration cases or any other types of cases. The State Bars have an obligation to protect the public from non-lawyers who are unlawfully practicing law.