Sample Protocol for Handling UPL Complaints

Resource for Local Bar Association UPL Committees

The TBA Standing Committee on the Protection of the Public from the Unauthorized Practice of Law has developed this sample protocol for use by local bar associations handling complaints about individuals and businesses endangering Tennessee consumers through the unauthorized practice of law.

The Committee developed the sample protocol after surveying local bar associations around Tennessee and discovering that many do not have formal policies in place for handling UPL complaints.

1) Receive written complaint

2) Investigate complaint (and, if appropriate, consult with Attorney General);

3) Recommend Action (forward any report and recommendation to the Attorney General)

a. No action
b. If action
i. Meeting with defendant
ii. Letter to defendant
iii. More formal meeting with defendant
1. Reach written agreement
2. Report to Attorney General results of meeting
iv. Refer to (as appropriate)
1. Attorney General, and/or
2. District Attorney General, and/or
3. Board of Professional Responsibility (if a lawyer is aiding a non-lawyer in the unauthorized practice of law)