Florida Bar Association: Ticket “App” is Practicing Law Without a License
You must have a license to practice law in Florida—but what constitutes the “practice of law” is not always clear. Modern technology has created some additional confusion. According to reporting from Bloomberg Law, the Florida Supreme Court will soon decide if a commercial “ticket app” was improperly practicing law without a license in Florida.
The company, TIKD, marketed its services as simplifying the traffic ticket dispute process. Operating in many communities in the United States, TIKD was aggressive in the Miami market. However, the Florida Bar Association argues that the app overstepped its bound. In this article, our Florida bar complaint defense attorneys provide an explanation of the case.
Florida Supreme Court: Did TIKD Practice Law Without a License?
TIKD is an app designed to help motorists fight traffic tickets. Essentially, a driver would submit a photo of their traffic ticket on the app and they would be connected with a Florida attorney who could assist them with the case. TIKD did not actually represent them in any legal proceedings. However, there have been serious questions raised about how exactly TIKD was advertising its services.
The Bar Complaint
In its complaint, the Florida Bar Association noted that TIKD’s website did contain a disclaimer telling consumers that the company is not a law firm and that it does not offer legal advice. However, the Florida Bar Association also noted that TIKD’s advertising materials tried to persuade drivers that hiring an attorney was “expensive” and “a hassle.” In other words, the Bar Association argues that TIKD was presenting itself as some form of alternative to a lawyer.
The Referee Report
This case has been making its way through Florida’s grievance process since 2018. Last year, a referee released a report in favor of TIKD—recommending that the Florida Bar’s complaint be dismissed by the court. While the referee agreed that TIKD does not have authority to practice law in Florida, he determined that the company’s conduct would not be viewed as “practicing law” by an ordinary consumer. The Florida Bar Association sharply disagreed with the report and filed an appeal, which is now before the Supreme Court.
Awaiting a Final Decision
On March 4th, 2020, the Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments from both parties. It is now tasked with determining whether or not TIKD improperly practiced law without a license. As this is a relatively novel issue, it is not entirely clear which way the court will rule. Our top-rated Florida bar complaint defense lawyers will keep a close eye on the decision—one is expected later this year.
Consult With Our South Florida Bar Complaint Attorneys for Immediate Assistance
At Pike & Lustig, LLP, our West Palm Beach bar complaints & grievances lawyers are skilled, experienced advocates for lawyers. If you are facing a bar complaint, you need an expert in your corner. Contact us today for a confidential initial consultation. We represent legal professionals in West Palm Beach, Miami, and Palm Beach Gardens and throughout the entire region.