Unauthorized Practice of Law

A person providing legal services who is not an active member of the Washington State Bar Association, or otherwise authorized to provide law-related services in Washington, may be engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. In Washington, paralegals may only provide law-related services under the supervision of a lawyer. As a general rule, business entities can only appear in court through a lawyer. The Supreme Court has authorized nonlawyers to provide limited legal services in Washington in some areas such as Limited Practice Officers (Escrow). The unauthorized practice of law is a crime in Washington. Anyone can speak generally about a law, sell legal forms and represent him or her self in court.  

Definition of the Practice of Law 

The practice of law is the application of legal principles and judgment to a set of facts, to resolve a problem or decide how to proceed. The Washington State Supreme Court defined the practice of law in General Rule (GR) 24. This rule provides a written definition of the practice of law and a list of exceptions and exclusions.

Complaints Alleging Unauthorized Practice of Law 

The Board investigates allegations of unauthorized practice of law that pose a threat to the general public.  The Board has the authority to perform investigations, request that respondents cease and desist from further unauthorized acts and make referrals to enforcement agencies, including police, prosecutors, Washington State Attorney General, and licensing agencies. You may submit a complaint by mail, fax or email. The form is available here. Fill out the form completely and attach public documents that explain the problem. Do not attach documents that should not become public. The Board will review your complaint and may dismiss, or make a finding of unauthorized practice of law and refer to other enforcement agencies. 

Unauthorized Practice of Law Findings 

Abalos, Robert J.

Aitkins, James (Jacob Group Trustee Service)

Anschell, Grosvenor

Austin, David

Baker, Susan P. (West Seattle Administrative & Paralegal Services)

Barclay, Spencer

Bonner-Nix, Sylvia

Buck, Cate (Injury Advocates)

Choi, Kevin Y.

Conrad, Robert K.

Cortier, Daniel Marc (Immigration Public Justice Crenshaw Community Service Center)

Cramer, Stephen D.

Crawford, Cheri (Crawford Document Services)

Elliott, Dennis (Elliott & Associates)

Ewing, Luis

Garcia, Guillermo

Graf, F. Daniel

Guitierrez, David 

Hamley, Allen C.

Hatch, Christian Lee

Haunreiter, Chuck (Dads & Kids)

Holmes, Claude (Against the Grain)

Hughes, Willie

Janda, Steven (Evergreen Paralegal Services)

Janda, Steven (Evergreen Paralegal Services)

Janda, Steven (Evergreen Paralegal Services)

Janda, Steven (Evergreen Paralegal Services)

Janda, Steven (Evergreen Paralegal Services)

Jimenez, Audi (Vanamex)

Joehnck, Thomas

Johnson, Kevin G.

Jones, Gerald

Karoly, Robert D. (Investor's Recovery Specialists, Inc)

Kohoutek, James T.

LaPrease, Michael "Howard Gershman"/Commercial Collections Inc.

Lawrence, Eileen R. (Omega 17)

Light, Donna Jean

Mahoney, Steven

Malone, Lacandas

Marks, Antolin A. (Immigration Public Justice Crenshaw Community Services Center)

Marshall, Bradley

Marshall, Bradley

Marshall, Bradley

Marth, Jaclyn (Lien Research Corp.)

McKee, Thomas R.

Mercer, Ann 

Mitchell, Paul A. (Supremelaw.org)

Muhindo/Mzee, Ibrahim

Near, Rebekah (Orca Information, Inc.)

Neilly, John J.

Neville, Brian (Rule 9)

Newman, Arnold "Arnie"

Nguyen, Phillip (Viet Community Legal Services)

O'Neil, Michael (aka Howard Kenneth Michaelsen)

Occhiuzzo, David

Ost, Roger

Podgorny, Larisa

Reinthaler, Peter S.

Robinson, Joel L. (JR's Legal Services)

Rodis, Ronald (Rodis Law Group)

Ryan, Lenora (2nd Chance Human Resource Center)

Salazar, Antonio

Shepherd, Ray

Shoemaker, Maria

Sim, Joseph

Sorenson, Craig S.

Spang, Darin H.

Stanton, Kelly M. (Stanton & Associates) 

Practice of Law Definition

Board Rules

Board Procedures

LegalZoom Agreement

AG Action