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©2019 by Richard S. Granat

Tennessee Plans to Regulate Online Legal Software Publishers

How is it that a publisher that sells or distributes online legal software for consumers is now considered the "practice of law" in the State of Tennessee? Under a new regulatory scheme to be adopted by the Tennessee legislature, the publisher of a website that offers interactive legal forms to consumers will be considered the practice of law, unless the publisher complies with the requirements of the proposed statute. Non-compliance means the publisher is "subject to penalties for the unauthorized practice of law." These penalties include a $10,000 civil fine and a violation could be a Class A misdemeanor. This legislation will have a chilling effect on innovative efforts in Tennessee