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Unauthorized Practice of Law: Fill in the Blanks

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Ernie the Attorney links to this NYT story. Public law librarians deal with these questions every day and we back away slowly when asked “would you help me fill in the blanks?” or its predecessor, “what’s the form I need?” Filling in the blanks is fraught with so many dangers. If you are a librarian, don’t fill in the forms. Period. If you’re not an attorney and don’t work for the judge or attorney handling the case, don’t fill in the forms. If you know the person, you still may not want to fill in forms for someone else without checking first with an attorney, the agency where the documents will be filed, the court where the document may later be challenged, or other resting-place overseers for the documents.

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