Ethics MEMORANDUM OF LAW

Ethics MEMORANDUM OF LAW - INTEROFFICE MEMORANDUM OF LAW...

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INTEROFFICE MEMORANDUM OF LAW TO: Christine M. English-Martin Esq . RE: Unauthorized Practice From: Robert C Brown Jr. Of Law Date: March 23, 2008 Case: Divorce Center Office File Number 03-232008 Docket Number: STATEMENT OF ASSIGNMENT You asked me to research the Divorce Center in Pleasantville, NJ to determine if the personnel at the Divorce Center are engaged in the unauthorized practice of law while preparing uncontested divorce filing’s. LEGAL ISSUE Can a Franchise Program for Divorce that specializes in Uncontested Divorces operated by people with no previous legal experience who want to work within the $100 billion legal industry, and who do not choose to become attorneys or to work for them legally and ethically advise clients seeking to attain an uncontested divorce.     FACTS 1
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I visited The Divorce Center in Pleasantville, NJ, which was a stand alone franchise office building, sort of like McDonald’s or Burger King, in no way could it be confused as a law office, basically because there wasn’t a lawyer on the premises nor any law materials in sight. I introduced myself as a paralegal working on an assignment for one of my law classes. I asked if I could get information pertaining to how The Divorce Center processed divorce documents relating to divorce without a lawyer’s review. The first thing the young lady stated was that she was new, not a lawyer or even a paralegal and that she would answer my questions to the best of her abilities. The young lady, whose name I believe was Tarita, then provided me with the standard brochures. These brochures stated the fee for Uncontested Divorce as $399.00, court fee as $250.00 or court fee with minor children as $275.00. The brochures also provided the origin, mission statement, and addresses of five other New Jersey Divorce Center offices. I was even given a list of five reasons that I could use to file a divorce. I asked Tarita to explain the term Uncontested Divorce; Tarita’s explanation was that a divorce is considered uncontested if my spouse doesn’t hire a lawyer to fight the divorce. She then stated that this would be very expensive for my spouse to do, and that while it is possible for my spouse to contest the 2
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divorce, without a lawyer, it is very difficult and rarely occurs. I then asked do I need a lawyer for an uncontested divorce; Tarita stated that I did not and that The Divorce Center would type my divorce papers, according to my instructions, and then file my papers with the Court. She suggested I use a lawyer or mediator if I owned a lot of property and couldn’t decide how to divide it. I asked how would having children effect an uncontested divorce; the answer received was that issues such as child custody, support, visitation etc. could be decided by me and included in my divorce papers, and that all decisions should be in the best interest of the children. I asked for an explanation concerning no spouse signature
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Ethics MEMORANDUM OF LAW - INTEROFFICE MEMORANDUM OF LAW...

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