LSBA Proposes Legislation Creating Private Right of Action for UPL

J-m6DPwf_400x400On January 17, 2015, the House of Delegates of the Louisiana State Bar Association (LSBA) adopted a resolution submitted by the association’s Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee proposing legislation that would grant certain parties standing to seek to enjoin the unauthorized practice of law (UPL) and to recover damages caused by UPL.

The proposed legislation, which would be codified in Revised Statutes section 37:213.1, would allow the Louisiana Attorney General, the LSBA, or any District Attorney to file a petition to enjoin an “Actor” from engaging in UPL. The resolution defines “Actor” as a person who is engaged in UPL, including a Louisiana lawyer who has been permanently disbarred or who has permanently resigned. Currently, the LSBA has no statutory authority to seek an injunction against an actor engaged in UPL, but it does have court-approved authority under Louisiana State Bar Ass’n v. Carr & Associates, Inc., 2008-2114 (La. App. 1 Cir. 5/8/09).

In addition, the proposed legislation would allow any “Aggrieved Party” to seek damages caused by the UPL. The resolution defines “Aggrieved Party” to include anyone who has sustained damages as a result of the unauthorized practice of law. This civil right of action would be subject to a liberative prescription period of 3 years.


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