Texas-based paralegal illegally offering law services
01:00 AM EDT on Wednesday, June 1, 2011
By Tracy Breton
Journal Staff Writer
PROVIDENCE — The state Supreme Court has determined that a Texas-based paralegal service that advertised on the Internet to drum up business has engaged in the unauthorized practice of law in Rhode Island.
David Curtin, the court’s chief disciplinary counsel, said Low Cost Paralegal Services, whose last known address was in San Antonio, Texas, and its owner, Dominique M. Salazar, also known as Michelle Salazar, were advertising low-cost legal services on craigslist and other Internet sites.
Curtin said Salazar is not an attorney and although she had an e-mail address of attorney2be2012, “I don’t think she ever was in law school.”
Curtin said Salazar was trying to solicit business in Rhode Island by offering “a complete divorce for a $400 flat fee” and other legal services in the areas of adoption, child custody matters, name changes, living wills, wills, power of attorney and deeds.
“We don’t know whether anyone in Rhode Island used her services, but they were certainly offering their services in Rhode Island,” Curtin said Tuesday. He said this was an example of a “nonlawyer document-preparation service” trying to mask itself as a legitimate provider of low-cost legal services.
Curtin referred the matter in April 2010 to the court’s Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee, which conducted an investigational hearing late last year.
[Re-Published only in part from Projo.com as a matter of public interest.]
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*Note: Neither Attorney Christopher A. Pearsall, RhodeIslandDivorceTips.com, nor the Rhode Island Divorce & Coaching Institute claim any rights, title, or interest whatsoever in and/or to the contents of this article which is the property of The Providence Journal and/or Tracy Brenton. The article has been republished here in part to assist in making the public aware of the illegal practices that may take place my non-lawyers in the areas of Rhode Island divorce and family law. Please see the link above for the complete article published by The Providence Journal.
Consistent with Rhode Island law and the Professional Rules of Ethical Conduct the practice of assisting any person in a Rhode Island divorce and family law matter in completing paperwork, providing legal advice or otherwise should only be undertaken by a lawyer in good standing before the Rhode Island Supreme Court who is licensed to practice law in the State of Rhode Island and is reasonably experienced in the areas of Rhode Island divorce and family law.