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July 24, 2015


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Michael Lewyn

For those of you who didn't see "Damn Yankees" (and thus didn't get the pop culture reference):

Michael Risch

As the first person to post on the 5.5 question, I'll just note that I agree with everything Bernie has written - including the demeaning nature of calling rote document review the practice of law.

Since he's backed off the dichotomy, I'm not making any further comment. I think there is a trichotomy:
1. Lola isn't practicing law
2. Lola is practicing law, and is authorized under 5.5
3. Lola is practicing law, and is authorized because he is supervised, as are any non-lawyers, lawyers who don't qualify under 5.5, etc.

I don't know if it is 2 or 3, and I think the interesting question (aside from the criminal organization rhetoric) is whether the law firm ever paused to ask whether it was 2 or 3.

FRIENDLY AMENDMENT APPENDED HERE BY BERNIE (because comments are now closed):
Mike, this is very helpful, but I might put it a little differently.

1. Lola isn't practicing law (because of the nature of his responsibilities)
2. Lola is practicing law, and is authorized under Rule 5.5 (which can't authorize anyone not licensed to practice law in some American jurisdiction, so paralegals and offshore outsourcers are in trouble)
3. I don't think there is any authority for the proposition that if Lola is practicing law, the UPL issue is addressed by his being supervised. Generally, most jurisdictions would probably say that someone who is properly supervised is not "practicing law" at all (so this protects people like Lola as well as nonlicensed persons doing what Lola does). But if he's not "practicing law," then he gets overtime.

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