The Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers
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PREVENTING UNAUTHORIZED PRACTICE OF LAW (UPL)

by TERESA L JOHNSON
(PEORIA, AZ, USA)

It is imperative that all legal document preparers must strive to avoid the unauthorized practice of law if he/she does not want to face serious, negative consequences that could result in a felony conviction. Choosing a business name can be exciting, and having a graphics designer create a logo that would immediately appeal to viewers would be an awesome thing. However, it would all become a disaster should the legal document preparer decide to use a name i.e. Teresa’s Legal Typing Services that would mislead the public into thinking that her business is a law firm and/or that she is an attorney. Without the word “document” being including in this name, it would be more than likely for any average person to assume that this business provides more than the preparation of specific legal documents.

Because there are so many ways to market a business and services, especially through online sites, Legal Document Preparers must always be attentive of the text incorporated on every page of their websites. They should always seek to uphold the integrity of their business in preparing and/or providing legal documents to pro se individuals, and not mislead anyone into thinking that he/she is qualified to give legal advice, suggestions, and/or predict the outcome of their particular matter.

The FALDP Association distinctively outlines the rules in the UPL course very well and provided descriptions of ‘bad’ business names that are misleading. So then, every person seeking to become a legal document preparer under the FALDP Association would be without excuse as to why he/she failed to avoid such unauthorized practice. They surely could not say that they were unaware, and/or were never informed of the meaning. The FALDP made every effort necessary to ensure that all LDP’s were provided with this knowledge, and also made aware of the legal consequences which could lead to him/her being charged with a felony conviction if found guilty.

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