Don’t be Fooled by “Attorneys…”

What does “UPL” mean?

There have been many issues regarding persons acting as attorneys without actually having a license to do so (known as the unauthorized practice of law (“UPL”)).  The UPL is a very serious issue and can cause a lot of harm to innocent persons.  Unfortunately, many cases of UPL go unreported.  Many states have tried providing education to the public to be careful in who they hire to help with their legal problems.  Additionally, many states, such as Florida, have established programs to protect the public against harm caused by individuals pretending to be attorneys.

An Example…

Recently, Jerome Dunbar, was allegedly practicing law in Connecticut for 13 years.  Mr. Dunbar represented clients in Connecticut Appellate Court, Connecticut Housing Court, and Connecticut Department of Labor hearing.  Mr. Dunbar was charged with seven counts of unauthorized practice of law, and faces up to five years in prison and a $35,000 fine.  Additionally, there have been cases of individuals fooling persons within the Hispanic community by calling themselves a notario.  In Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries, a notario can perform several legal services.  Others get fooled by paralegals and legal assistants stating they can help with your legal problem.  Paralegals and legal assistants should be working under the supervision of attorney.  It is important to remember that the only persons that should give you legal advice are your lawyers.  Non-lawyers, even with education and training, should not be giving legal advice nor going to court for you.

What is the Difference Between Real Estate Agents, Real Estate Brokers, and Real Estate Attorneys?

Many people also do not understand the difference between real estate agents, real estate brokers, and real estate attorneys.  Real estate agents are salesmen working under the supervision of a real estate broker.  Agents have the power to help buyers find a home within their price range in the area they wish.  Real estate brokers, on the other hand, are similar to real estate agents, except that brokers have pursued additional education and credentials allowing them to work independently and supervise other real estate agents.  A real estate attorney can be considered the glue that pieces everything together.  Real estate attorneys help deal with any issues that come with the sale of the land.  For example, issues regarding title to the property, boundary lines, zoning, leases, etc.  Real estate attorneys have the ability to read contracts and provide advice to determine if a contract is too one sided.  Ultimately, attorneys have the power to protect both the buyer and seller from most of the foreseeable risks associated with a real estate purchase.  Contacting a real estate attorney prior to a closing can prevent an individual from spending lots of money in defending claims later on.

EPGD Business Law is located in beautiful Coral Gables. Call us at (786) 837-6787, or contact us through the website to schedule a consultation.

*Disclaimer: this blog post is not intended to be legal advice. We highly recommend speaking to an attorney if you have any legal concerns. Contacting us through our website does not establish an attorney-client relationship.*

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Eric Gros-Dubois

Founding partner Eric Gros-Dubois established EPGD Business Law in 2013. With over a decade of experience expanding the firm and leading it to its current success, Eric now primarily manages the corporate division of EPGD. Given Eric’s educational background, holding both a JD and MBA, combined with his own unique experience of starting a business from scratch and growing it to a multi-million dollar firm, he brings a specialized and invaluable perspective to those seeking legal assistance for themselves and their businesses. Having now instilled his same values in our team of skilled corporate associates, Eric leads a firm that is always ready, willing, and equipped to handle any and every legal matter that a business owner may have.


*The following comments are not intended to be treated as legal advice. The answer to your question is limited to the basic facts presented. Additional details may heavily alter our assessment and change the answer provided. For a more thorough review of your question please contact our office for a consultation.



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