Efrem Martin – Independent Still, But Paralegal No More

One of the coincidences abounding in the blogosphere is that just as first Melissa H. at Paralegalese and Lynne DeVenny at Pratical Paralegalism posted regarding the case of “independent” paralegal Jerry O’Neil in Montana who successfully defended a Montana AG’s Motion for Summary Judgment on the issues of violating that state’s Unfair Trade and Consumer Protection Act, Efrem Martin, about whom we have posted before, was informing me that he has informed the Colorado the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel he was no longer a practicing paralegal.

Melissa and Lynne did fine jobs of covering the Montana matter, so I won’t be going into it. (Not everything on the internet about that story has been well done. Some commentators have, it seems to me, clearly misinterpreted both the meaning and the import of the case.)

I am a bit surprised at Efrem’s move. I have not yet had the time to read all of the documents he sent me regarding his case, so I am reserving comment and posting of excepts of his email for a few more days.  However, some of the communication he received from the Office of Attorney Regulation Counsel is interesting at least to the extent that it informs those considering or implementing “independent” paralegal practices. In the initial letter is here: EFREM MARTIN INITIAL REQUEST FOR UPL INVESTIGATION[1]
Efrem challenged the Colorado proceeding in Federal Court. The Federal Court remanded it back to Colorado. I’ll have more on the basis for the challenge and the court’s ruling later. A quick read does no seem to indicate the Federal Court’s decision was a ruling on the merits, but rather on the ability to challenge in Federal Court, at least at this stage. Regardless, Mr. Martin is now teaching high school and writing a book.

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  • […] I suspect that even in the context of competition, there are more similarities between the paralegal/lawyer professions in Ottawa and the United States that might immediately meet the eye. See for example the discussion here and on the Paralegal Today discussion forum, on Combating the “Hire an Out-of-work Lawyer as a Paralegal” Trend. “Independent” paralegals also claim that fear of competition and a desire for a monopoly is behind the efforts of bar associations to shut down businessess such as Efrem Martin’s. […]

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