Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

Olympic Call Raises UPL Question

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

According to an article on FoxNews.com:

The U.S. Olympic Committee says a Maine organizer will have to rename his “Redneck Olympics” games, saying the man doesn’t have the right to use the word “Olympics” in the event’s title.  Redneck Olympics organizer Harold Brooks told FoxNews.com he received a telephone call Monday from a paralegal at the USOC warning him to change the name of his event or face a lawsuit.”

I have some familiarity with the issue of whether the USOC is properly exercising its rights in this regard, but that is not the issue of primary concern to me at the moment. Rather it is the fact that this particular phone call came from a paralegal. Let’s assume that instead of making a phone call the USOC wanted to notify Brooks by letter. Its in-house paralegal could draft that letter, but could the paralegal sign it or must it be signed by an attorney? My initial sense is that the letter would have to be signed by an attorney, not a paralegal -even an in-house paralegal- in order to avoid UPL. Is it any different then when the warning is delivered via the telephone? Mustn’t that call be made by the attorney (or an officer of the corporation) rather than a paralegal in order to avoid UPL? It might be a bit different if the person making the call (might also be a paralegal) called in his capacity as an officer or assistant to an officer of the corporation and did not identify himself as a paralegal.

What do you think?