933_A[1].2d_763,_2007_Del._LEXIS_360,_40_A.L

933_A[1].2d_763,_2007_Del._LEXIS_360,_40_A.L - 1 of 1...

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1 of 1 DOCUMENT IN THE MATTER OF: RALPH V. ESTEP, Respondent. No. 647, 2006 SUPREME COURT OF DELAWARE 933 A.2d 763 ; 2007 Del. LEXIS 360; 40 A.L.R.6th 815 August 7, 2007, Submitted August 15, 2007, Decided SUBSEQUENT HISTORY: Related proceeding at In re Kingsley, 2008 Del. LEXIS 255 (Del., June 4, 2008) PRIOR HISTORY: [**1] Contempt Proceeding. Upon the Findings of Fact and Recommendations For Sanctions from the Board on Unauthorized Practice of Law. Sanctions Imposed. In re Estep, 2006 Del. LEXIS 577 (Del., Oct. 30, 2006) CASE SUMMARY: PROCEDURAL POSTURE: The Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law (Delaware) held an evidentiary hearing and later filed findings of fact and recommendations for sanctions after petitioner disciplinary counsel filed an amended petition for rule to show cause alleging that respondent nonlawyer was in violation of a cease and desist order, and, thus, was in contempt of that order. The state supreme court then considered the findings and recommendation. OVERVIEW: The nonlawyer was an accountant with an office in Delaware. He was not authorized to practice law anywhere. The state supreme court learned that he was engaging in the unauthorized practice of law and issued a cease and desist order. Shortly thereafter, disciplinary counsel filed an amended petition for rule to show cause in the state su- preme court and alleged that the nonlawyer was violating the order. The state supreme court referred the matter to the Board on the Unauthorized Practice of Law (Board) to make findings of fact and recommendations concerning the con- temptuous conduct alleged in disciplinary counsel's amended petition. The Board conducted an evidentiary hearing dur- ing which it heard testimony from various witnesses and accepted documentary evidence. It then filed its findings of fact and recommendations of sanctions with the state supreme court. The state supreme court accepted the findings and agreed that nine of the 11 counts showed that he had engaged in contemptuous conduct by drafting estate-related docu- ments after meeting with clients even though he was unauthorized to practice law. It also set forth the sanctions to be imposed on those nine counts. OUTCOME: The state supreme court accepted the Board's findings of fact and determined that the nonlawyer engaged in contemptuous conduct although it found that the conduct alleged in two counts was not contemptuous. It then found that his contemptuous conduct was a basis for imposing sanctions upon him, and set forth the sanctions that were im- posed. CORE TERMS: desist, cease, legal documents, legal advice, unauthorized, practice of law, drafting, estate planning, accounting, representative capacity, fees charged, advertisement, contemptuous, practice law, recommendations, con- tempt, matters relating, clear and convincing evidence, personal representatives, drafted, deeds, constituting, accountant, collected, probate, assurance, legal fees, profession, inventory, Unauthorized Practice of Law LexisNexis(R) Headnotes Legal Ethics > Unauthorized Practice of Law
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[HN1] See Del. Bd. Unauthorized Prac. L.R. 14.
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