News and Information
August 09, 2007

VSB Standing Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law is Seeking Comment on UPL Opinion 212

Additional Info view draft of UPL 212 (pdf posted 08/09/07)

Pursuant to Part Six: Section IV, Paragraph 10(c)(iii) of the Rules of the Supreme Court of Virginia, the Virginia State Bar’s Standing Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law (“UPL Committee???) is seeking public comment on proposed UPL Opinion 212, Whether a Non-Lawyer Settlement Agent Can Negotiate a Debt on Behalf of a Debtor.

This proposed opinion addresses the question of whether negotiation alone is the unauthorized practice of law. The dispositive question is whether there is an exercise of legal judgment within the context of the negotiation by a non-lawyer on behalf of another. The Committee concluded that “negotiation??? alone, is not, per se the unauthorized practice of law, and in this case there were no facts presented indicating an exercise of legal judgment or expertise.

Inspection and Comment

The proposed unauthorized practice of law advisory opinion may be inspected at the office of the Virginia State Bar, 707 East Main Street, Suite 1500, Richmond, Virginia 23219-2800, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Copies of the proposed advisory opinion can be obtained from the offices of the Virginia State Bar by contacting the Office of Ethics Counsel at 804-775-0557, or can be found at the Virginia State Bar's Web site at

Any individual, business or other entity may file or submit written comments in support of, or in opposition to, the advisory opinion by filing ten copies with Thomas A. Edmonds, the Executive Director of the Virginia State Bar, not later than September 24, 2007.

Updated: Aug 09, 2007