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Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee v. Parsons Technology, Inc.

United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
1999 WL 47235 (1999)


Facts

The Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee (the UPLC) (plaintiff), comprised of six Texas attorneys and three lay citizens, was responsible for enforcing the state’s unauthorized practice of law statute, Tex. Gov’t Code § 81.101. Parsons Technology, Inc. (Parsons) (defendant) sold a software program called Quicken Family Lawyer (QFL) that offered purchasers various legal forms, agreements, and wills along with instructions on how to complete them. On the program’s initial start-up, QFL advised the user to consult with an attorney for specific guidance. The disclaimer did not appear on QFL’s packaging, nor on any subsequent uses of the program. Thereafter, the program asked the user a series of questions to ascertain which form was best suited to the user’s needs and provided a customized document. UPLC filed suit in Texas state court alleging the selling of QFL violated § 81.101 and sought an injunction to prevent future QFL sales. Parsons removed the action to federal district court. Both parties filed motions for summary judgment. 

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Sanders, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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