Law Is Not A DIY Field: When Not To Represent Yourself
June 14, 2017 1:38 pm,
That’s what happened to Community Management Group, LLC, which manages HOAs and condo associations in the Charleston tri-county area, in a recent case. Beyond the typical duties of property management companies, such as property upkeep and enforcement of association rules, CMG also engaged in the practice of law without the help of an attorney. Specifically, CMG “prepared and recorded a notice of lien and related documents; brought an action in magistrate’s court to collect the debt; and after obtaining a judgment in magistrate’s court, filed the judgment in circuit court,” and advertised the fact that they did these things, according to the South Carolina Supreme Court decision.
The Supreme Court in South Carolina has the power to regulate the practice of law, and has made some allowances for non-lawyers to act in place of a lawyer in certain instances. In its decision, the Court clarifies instances where it’s not appropriate for non-lawyers to practice, including the things that CMG did.