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In re Opinion No. 26 of the Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law

654 A.2d 1344 (N.J. 1995)

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In re Opinion No. 26 of the Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law

Supreme Court of New Jersey

654 A.2d 1344 (N.J. 1995)

Facts

Real estate brokers prepare form contracts for buyers and sellers of real estate to execute, arrange for financing for buyers, order a title commitment, and obtain a deed drafting by an attorney selected by the broker. The brokers’ interest is always to close the transaction, which often conflicts with the interest of the buyer and the seller. In North Jersey, both buyers and sellers are usually represented by attorneys. However, in South Jersey, buyers and sellers often go through the entire transaction without obtaining attorneys to represent them. The cost of the transaction is thereby reduced. However, this means that the buyers and sellers have not been fully informed of the risks and consequences of the contract selling the property and have not been given competent legal counsel regarding any exceptions taken by the title company. The contract of sale does permit each party to revoke the contract within three days through counsel, if the party chooses to do so. Attorneys in New Jersey have asserted that the activities of the real estate brokers constitute the unauthorized practice of law and should be prohibited.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)

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