There is an old saying that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. This adage applies to many things, including legal assistance. In late September 2015, the State Bar of Georgia sued a local man, James E. Davis, who offers discounted legal services through online ad postings on sites like Craigslist and Yahoo. Davis operates a business called Legal for Less, and advertises document preparation services and assistance with various legal issues, including traffic tickets, criminal cases, civil suits, collections suits, immigration, and divorce. In fact, one ad for Legal for Less even advertises $250 divorces.
Davis’s advertisements, especially his advertised prices, seem appealing initially. In fact, they seem too good to be true. After some investigation, the State Bar of Georgia found that Davis’s claims were too good to be true – because what Davis is dong through his company Legal for Less amounts to the unlicensed or unauthorized practice of law. The last suit filed by the State Bar of Georgia claims that Legal for Less operator James Davis is illegally “holding himself out to the public or otherwise to any person as being entitled to practice law when he is not licensed or otherwise authorized to practice law Georgia.” Indeed, the State Bar’s suit is substantiated by the fact that although Legal for Less offers assistance with legal actions, some of the company’s ads state that “We are not attorney’s [sic].”
In Georgia, it is illegal for anyone to practice law or provide legal advice, services or counsel without a license to practice law. Doing so could result in significant fines and other penalties. Although the suit against Legal for Less has yet to be resolved, it is a clear example that sites and advertisements offering legal services for extremely discounted rates should be viewed with a healthy dose skepticism. If you need legal advice or services, it is important to only seek the services of a processional authorized to practice law. Trusting someone who is not licensed to practice law with your legal issues, especially a divorce or other family law case, could result in you making disastrous, costly and sometimes irreversible mistakes. So, if someone or something sounds too good to be true, check them out. Curios whether a person is licensed to practice in Georgia? A brief search of the State Bar of Georgia’s membership directory will give you a definitive answer. Not sure if the attorney or firm you have consulted with has a good reputation in the legal community? Ask them for reference, or search check out their reviews on sites like Avvo.com. If you are searching for a divorce attorney for your Georgia divorce, contact Atlanta’s trusted divorce attorneys for a consultation today.