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Georgia

15-19-50

TITLE 15. COURTS

Chapter 15-19 Attorneys

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15-19-50 Practice of law defined.

The practice of law in this state is defined as:

(1) Representing litigants in court and preparing pleadings and other papers incident to any action or special proceedings in any court or other judicial body;

(2) Conveyancing;

(3) The preparation of legal instruments of all kinds whereby a legal right is secured;

(4) The rendering of opinions as to the validity or invalidity of titles to real or personal property;

(5) The giving of any legal advice; and

(6) Any action taken for others in any matter connected with the law.

15-19-51

TITLE 15. COURTS

Chapter 15-19 Attorneys

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15-19-51 Unauthorized practice of law prohibited.

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person other than a duly licensed attorney at law:

(1) To practice or appear as an attorney at law for any person other than himself in any court of this state or before any judicial body;

(2) To make it a business to practice as an attorney at law for any person other than himself in any of such courts;

(3) To hold himself out to the public or otherwise to any person as being entitled to practice law;

(4) To render or furnish legal services or advice;

(5) To furnish attorneys or counsel;

(6) To render legal services of any kind in actions or proceedings of any nature;

(7) To assume or use or advertise the title of “lawyer,” “attorney,” “attorney at law,” or equivalent terms in any language in such manner as to convey the impression that he is entitled to practice law or is entitled to furnish legal advice, services, or counsel; or

(8) To advertise that either alone or together with, by, or through any person, whether a duly and regularly admitted attorney at law or not, he has, owns, conducts, or maintains an office for the practice of law or for furnishing legal advice, services, or counsel.

(b) Unless otherwise provided by law or by rules promulgated by the Supreme Court, it shall be unlawful for any corporation, voluntary association, or company to do or perform any of the acts recited in subsection (a) of this Code section.

15-19-52

TITLE 15. COURTS

Chapter 15-19 Attorneys

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15-19-52 Banking advice – legal instruments – title papers.

Nothing contained in this article shall prevent any corporation, voluntary association, or individual from doing any act or acts set out in Code Section 15-19-50 to which the persons are a party; but, in preparing and filing affidavits in attachments and prosecuting such proceedings, it shall be unlawful for the plaintiffs to act through any agent or employee who is not a duly licensed attorney at law. Moreover, no bank shall be prohibited from giving any advice to its customers in matters incidental to banks or banking; nor shall any person, firm, or corporation be prohibited from drawing any legal instrument for another person, firm, or corporation, provided it is done without fee and solely at the solicitation and the request and under the direction of the person, firm, or corporation desiring to execute the instrument. Furthermore, a title insurance company may prepare such papers as it thinks proper or necessary in connection with a title which it proposes to insure, in order, in its opinion, for it to be willing to insure the title, where no charge is made by it for the papers.

15-19-53

TITLE 15. COURTS

Chapter 15-19 Attorneys

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15-19-53 Examination and abstract of titles – title insurance.

This article shall not prohibit a person, corporation, or voluntary association from examining the record of titles to real property, nor shall it prohibit a person, corporation, or voluntary association from preparing and issuing abstracts of title from such examination of records and certifying to the correctness of the same, nor from issuing policies of insurance on titles to real or personal property, nor from employing an attorney or attorneys in and about their own immediate affairs or in any litigation to which they are or may be a party. However, nothing contained in this Code section shall authorize any person, corporation, or voluntary association other than an attorney at law to express, render, or issue any legal opinion as to the status of the title to real or personal property.

15-19-54

TITLE 15. COURTS

Chapter 15-19 Attorneys

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15-19-54 Furnishing information or clerical services to attorneys.

Nothing contained in this article shall be construed to prevent a person, corporation, or voluntary association from furnishing to any person lawfully engaged in the practice of law such information or clerical services in and about his professional work as would be lawful except for Code Sections 15-19-51, 15-19-53, and 15-19-55, provided that at all times the attorney receiving the information or services shall maintain full professional and direct responsibility to his clients for the information and services received. However, no person, corporation, or voluntary association not otherwise authorized to do so shall be permitted to render any services which cannot lawfully be rendered by a person not admitted to practice law nor to solicit directly or indirectly professional employment for an attorney.

15-19-55

TITLE 15. COURTS

Chapter 15-19 Attorneys

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15-19-55 Solicitation of legal employment on behalf of attorney.

It shall be unlawful for any person, corporation, or voluntary association to solicit legal employment on behalf of any attorney, firm, corporation, or organization where the attorney, firm, corporation, or organization would not himself or itself be authorized to engage in such solicitation. However, nothing in this article shall be construed to prohibit a person, association, or corporation lawfully engaged in the business of conducting a mercantile or collection agency or adjustment bureau from employing an attorney at law to give legal advice concerning, or to prosecute actions in court which relate to, the adjustment or collection of debts and accounts only.

15-19-56

TITLE 15. COURTS

Chapter 15-19 Attorneys

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15-19-56 Penalty for prohibited conduct.

(a) Any person, corporation, or voluntary association violating Code Section 15-19-51, 15-19-53, 15-19-54, or 15-19-55 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

(b) Every officer, trustee, director, agent, or employee of a corporation or voluntary association who directly or indirectly engages in any of the acts prohibited in Code Section 15-19-51, 15-19-53, 15-19-54, or 15-19-55 or assists a corporation or voluntary association in performing the prohibited acts shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. The fact that the person is a duly and regularly admitted attorney at law shall not be held to permit or allow the corporation or voluntary association to do the acts prohibited in such Code sections, nor shall the fact be a defense upon the trial of any person mentioned therein for a violation of those Code sections. Nothing in this subsection shall prevent any court having jurisdiction from punishing the corporation or its officers for contempt.

15-19-57

TITLE 15. COURTS

Chapter 15-19 Attorneys

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15-19-57 Investigation of unauthorized practice of law.

The State Bar of Georgia, the Judicial Council of the State of Georgia, and all organized bar associations of this state are each authorized to inquire into and investigate:

(1) Any charges or complaints of unauthorized or unlawful practice of law;

(2) Reserved;

(3) Any charges or complaints that any person, in violation of Code Section 15-19-55 or rules promulgated by the Supreme Court, is orally or by writing, for a consideration then or afterwards to be charged or received by himself or another, offering or tendering to another person, without the solicitation of the person, the services of an attorney at law, resident or nonresident of this state, in order for the attorney to institute an action or represent the person in the courts of this or any other state or of the United States in the enforcement or collection by law of any claim, debt, or demand of the person against another or is suggesting or urging the bringing of such action; and

(4) Any charge or complaints that any person is engaged in the practice of seeking out and proposing to other persons that they present and urge through any attorney at law the collection of any claim, debt, or demand of such person against another.

History: 2008 Legislation

15-19-58

TITLE 15. COURTS

Chapter 15-19 Attorneys

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15-19-58 Injunctive relief – procedure – other remedies.

(a) Either the State Bar of Georgia, the Judicial Council of this state, or any organized bar association of this state is authorized to institute in the proper superior court of this state an action or actions seeking injunctive relief against any person, firm, or corporation, when it determines after investigation that such person, firm, or corporation:

(1) Is engaged in the unauthorized or unlawful practice of law;

(2) Reserved;

(3) In violation of Code Section 15-19-55 or rules promulgated by the Supreme Court, is orally or by writing, for a consideration then or afterwards to be charged or received by himself or another, offering or tendering to another person, without the solicitation of such other person, the services of an attorney at law, resident or nonresident of this state, in order for the attorney to institute an action or represent the person in the courts of this or any other state or of the United States in the enforcement or collection by law of any claim, debt, or demand of any such person against another or is suggesting or urging the bringing of the action; or

(4) Is engaged in the practice of seeking out and proposing to other persons that they present and urge through any attorney at law the collection of any claim, debt, or demand of such person against another.

(b) The venue of any action authorized by this Code section shall be determined by the constitutional and statutory provisions relating to cases in equity.

(c) The hearing, interlocutory or final, and the trial of actions authorized by this Code section shall be governed by the laws of this state relating to injunctions, as shall appeals from orders or judgments therein.

(d) In any action brought under this Code section, the final judgment, if in favor of the plaintiff, shall perpetually enjoin the defendant or defendants from the commission or continuance of the act or acts complained of. Restraining orders or temporary injunctions may be granted as in other cases in which injunctive relief is sought.


Inside Georgia