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CPIL’s Executive Director, Professor Robert Fellmeth Quoted in Los Angeles Daily Journal On Online Lawyer Referral Services

CPIL’s Executive Director, Professor Robert Fellmeth Quoted in Los Angeles Daily Journal On Online Lawyer Referral Services

SAN DIEGO (December 5, 2019) – University of San Diego (USD) School of Law’s Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL), Executive Director Robert Fellmeth was quoted in a Los Angeles Daily Journal article on the recent ruling by the 1st District Court of Appeal that LegalMatch must comply with the California bar’s standards for lawyer referral services.

The case focused on LegalMatch.com, a company that connects consumers looking for legal help with attorneys who have purchased a LegalMatch subscription.  The Court ruled that they must register as a lawyer referral service regardless of whether “the company exercises judgment on an individual’s legal issues before communicating that information to a lawyer....  Rather, a referral occurs when an entity directs or sends a potential client to an attorney.”

Robert C. Fellmeth, Executive Director at CPIL, and public interest law professor at USD School of Law, opines that the 1st District ruled correctly, but thinks the ruling did not address the broader problem of greater regulation of these services. “Having the referral offerings register with the bar and pay the associated fees gives the impression that significant vetting of attorneys involved with the services is taking place.  That does not seem to be the case and makes it, in my judgment, basically flawed,” he said.

Read the full article by Lyle Moran in the Los Angeles Daily Journal here.

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About Center for Public Interest Law

Founded in 1980, the University of San Diego School of Law’s Center for Public Interest Law (CPIL) serves as an academic center of research and advocacy in regulatory and public interest law. CPIL focuses its efforts on the study of an extremely powerful, yet often overlooked, level of government: state regulatory agencies. Under the supervision of experienced public interest attorneys and advocates, CPIL law student interns study California agencies that regulate business, professions, and trades.

CPIL publishes the California Regulatory Law Reporter, a unique legal journal that covers the activities and decisions of over 12 major California regulatory agencies.

In addition to its academic program, CPIL has an advocacy component. Center faculty, professional staff, and interns represent the interests of the unorganized and underrepresented in California’s legislature, courts, and regulatory agencies. CPIL attempts to make the regulatory functions of California government more efficient and visible by serving as a public monitor of state regulatory activity. The Center has been particularly active in reforming the state’s professional discipline systems for attorneys and physicians, and in advocating public interest reforms to the state’s open meetings and public records statutes.

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world.  The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest law and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates.  The law school's faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 36th nationally among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 22nd nationally in past-year faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.

 

Robert C. Fellmeth, PRICE PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC INTEREST LAW; EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEREST LAW, AND CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY INSTITUTERobert C. Fellmeth, PRICE PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC INTEREST LAW; EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR PUBLIC INTEREST LAW, AND CHILDREN'S ADVOCACY INSTITUTE

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Katie Gonzalez
katiegonzalez@sandiego.edu
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