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The Florida Bar v. Miravalle
Florida Supreme Court
761 So. 2d 1049 (2000)
Candice Miravalle owned and operated Express Legal Services, Inc. (Express) (defendants). Miravalle was not admitted to the Florida Bar (the bar) (plaintiff). Miravalle ran newspaper advertisements that read, “Are you ignoring your legal needs because you can’t afford an attorney?” The advertisements listed areas in which Express could provide assistance. Miravalle prepared legal documents for customers, including a settlement agreement, final marriage-dissolution judgment, and motions to reopen bankruptcy cases. None of these documents were forms approved by the Florida Supreme Court. To prepare the documents, Miravalle engaged in oral communications to obtain information, took information from other documents, performed legal research, and drafted and typed the documents. A referee entered a summary-judgment order against Miravalle and recommended that the court adopt the order and enjoin Miravalle from engaging in the unlicensed practice of law. Miravalle petitioned for review, arguing that her conduct did not constitute the practice of law and that even if it did, prohibiting nonlawyers from providing legal services deprived them of their constitutional rights to contract and equal protection of the laws.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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