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Title 37 Professions and occupations



37:212. “Practice of law” defined

A. The practice of law means and includes:

(1) In a representative capacity, the appearance as an advocate, or the drawing of papers, pleadings or documents, or the performance of any act in connection with pending or prospective proceedings before any court of record in this state; or

(2) For a consideration, reward, or pecuniary benefit, present or anticipated, direct or indirect;

(a) The advising or counseling of another as to secular law;

(b) In behalf of another, the drawing or procuring, or the assisting in the drawing or procuring of a paper, document, or instrument affecting or relating to secular rights;

(c) The doing of any act, in behalf of another, tending to obtain or secure for the other the prevention or the redress of a wrong or the enforcement or establishment of a right; or

(d) Certifying or giving opinions as to title to immovable property or any interest therein or as to the rank or priority or validity of a lien, privilege or mortgage as well as the preparation of acts of sale, mortgages, credit sales or any acts or other documents passing titles to or encumbering immovable property.

B. Nothing in this Section prohibits any person from attending to and caring for his own business, claims, or demands; or from preparing abstracts of title; or from insuring titles to property, movable or immovable, or an interest therein, or a privilege and encumbrance thereon, but every title insurance contract relating to immovable property must be based upon the certification or opinion of a licensed Louisiana attorney authorized to engage in the practice of law. Nothing in this Section prohibits any person from performing, as a notary public, any act necessary or incidental to the exercise of the powers and functions of the office of notary public, as those powers are delineated in Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950, Title 35, Section 1, et seq.

C. Nothing in this Section shall prohibit any partnership, corporation, or other legal entity from asserting any claim, not exceeding five thousand dollars, or defense pertaining to an open account or promissory note, or suit for eviction of tenants on its own behalf in the courts of limited jurisdiction on its own behalf through a duly authorized partner, shareholder, officer, employee, or duly authorized agent or representative. No partnership, corporation, or other entity may assert any claim on behalf of another entity or any claim assigned to it.

D. Nothing in Article V, Section 24, of the Constitution of Louisiana or this Section shall prohibit justices or judges from performing all acts necessary or incumbent to the authorized exercise of duties as judge advocates or legal officers.

Amended by Acts 1976, No. 515, §1; Acts 1980, No. 161, §1; Acts 1981, No. 535, §1; Acts 1985, No. 783, §1; Acts 1989, No. 22, §1, eff. June 14, 1989; Acts 1992, No. 673, §1.


Title 37 Professions and occupations



37:213. Persons, professional associations, professional corporations, and limited liability companies entitled to practice law; penalty for unlawful practice

A. No natural person, who has not first been duly and regularly licensed and admitted to practice law by the supreme court of this state, no corporation or voluntary association except a professional law corporation organized pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 12 of the Revised Statutes, and no partnership or limited liability company except one formed for the practice of law and composed of such natural persons, corporations, voluntary associations, or limited liability companies, all of whom are duly and regularly licensed and admitted to the practice of law, shall:

(1) Practice law.

(2) Furnish attorneys or counsel or an attorney and counsel to render legal services.

(3) Hold himself or itself out to the public as being entitled to practice law.

(4) Render or furnish legal services or advice.

(5) Assume to be an attorney at law or counselor at law.

(6) Assume, use, or advertise the title of lawyer, attorney, counselor, advocate or equivalent terms in any language, or any phrase containing any of these titles in such manner as to convey the impression that he is a practitioner of law.

(7) In any manner advertise that he, either alone or together with any other person, has, owns, conducts, or maintains an office of any kind for the practice of law.

B. This Section does not prevent any corporation or voluntary association formed for benevolent or charitable purposes and recognized by law from furnishing an attorney at law to give free assistance to persons without means.

C. Any natural person who violates any provision of this Section shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned for not more than two years, or both.

D. Any partnership, corporation, or voluntary association which violates this Section shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars. Every officer, trustee, director, agent, or employee of a corporation or voluntary association who, directly or indirectly, engages in any act violating any provision of this Section or assists the corporation or voluntary association in the performance of any such violation is subject to the penalties prescribed in this Section for violations by a natural person.

Acts 1964, No. 357, §1; Acts 1990, No. 841, §1; Acts 1993, No. 475, §6, eff. June 9, 1993; Acts 2001, No. 835, §1.

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