Archive: January 24, 2012

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D.C. Court of Appeals Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law Issues Opinion addressing “Discovery Services Companies”

D.C. Court of Appeals Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law Issues Opinion addressing “Discovery Services Companies”

On January 12, 2012, the D.C. Court of Appeals Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law (“UPL Committee”) approved Opinion 21-12 addressing the applicability of D.C. Court of Appeals Rule 49 to “‘discovery services companies’—companies that state they offer comprehensive discovery services, including assistance with large scale document review, to legal services organizations.”  Rule 49 prohibits the unauthorized practice of law.  The Opinion specifically recognizes that in recent years such companies have “dramatically expanded the scope of their services” and have “begun to describe their services in increasingly broad language.”  Accordingly, the UPL Committee, through Opinion 21-12, sought to clarify the proper scope of services that such companies may offer and how those services may be represented to potential clients.

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