From the President: Voice Your Opposition to SB 209
Dear Bar Member,
The State Bar of Georgia urges you to contact your state House representative to voice your opposition to SB 209.
SB 209 provides immunity from UPL lawsuits for entities such as LegalZoom that provide online legal self-help products, so long as the website “conspicuously” disclaims that its products do not substitute for the advice of an attorney.
The Bar opposes this bill for three reasons:
(1) These websites warrant that their forms meet the specific legal requirements of the consumer’s state law. Whether or not they do is a legal interpretation best left to be determined by the finder of fact.
(2) Many of these websites offer “hands on attention from attorneys,” yet the consumer doesn’t know which states these attorneys are licensed from the face of website itself.
(3) The bill does not define what constitutes a “conspicuous” disclaimer and most disclaimers on these websites are in tiny print and difficult to find.
The State Bar of Georgia’s paramount principal is ensuring easy access to justice for all people, but SB 209 does not do so. In fact, it protects entities that may be impermissibly practicing law in this state and putting our citizens at risk of harm. Please contact your state House representative and urge them to vote NO on SB 209 on Thursday, March 6.
To find your representative, please click here. If you have any questions, please visit the State Bar’s legislative program page. If you have any questions related to the Bar’s legislative agenda, please contact Thomas Worthy, the State Bar of Georgia’s Director of Governmental Affairs, at thomasw@gabar.org.
Sincerely,
Charles L. Ruffin
President, State Bar of Georgia
cruffin@bakerdonelson.com