Q. Do I need a lawyer or can I do it myself?
A. Under the law, a person is always entitled to represent himself. It is often difficult to represent yourself in all but the most simple of cases. You may also jeopardize important legal rights if not properly advised by an attorney. In family law cases, the local Friend of the Court and/or the Circuit Court Clerk's Offices will have pre-printed, standardized forms that can be purchased for a reasonable fee for people interested in representing themselves. In addition, State Court Administrative Office-approved forms are available online. Beware of non-lawyers who offer assistance in drafting legal documents for a fee. (See below)
Q. Can a person who is not a lawyer draft documents or help me with my case?
A. In Michigan, the only individuals who can draft legal documents for other people or give legal advice are lawyers licensed to practice law in Michigan. Beware of non-lawyer individuals or companies that draft legal documents for a fee, including divorce, bankruptcy, and estate planning documents such as wills and trusts. Any non-lawyer who drafts legal documents, gives legal advice, or gives the impression that they are an attorney when they are not may be guilty of the unauthorized practice of law. Click here to view the list of individuals and companies that have been found to have engaged in the unauthorized practice of law as well as more information about how to avoid being victimized by these companies and individuals.
Q. How can I get an unauthorized practice of law complaint form?
A. Click here to obtain a form to document your complaint. You will be asked to provide dates, specific facts regarding what happened, and all documents, including cancelled checks.
Q. How can I get an unauthorized practice of law Friend of the Court complaint form?
A. Click here to obtain a form to document your complaint. You will be asked to briefly describe how your office became aware that a non-lawyer drafted legal documents and/or gave legal advice, and attach copies of the documents in question.
Q. How do I find a lawyer?
A.The State Bar of Michigan Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRS) is designed to assist members of the public who want to hire an attorney and can afford to pay for legal services. You may dial (800) 968-0738 between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, to speak with a lawyer referral representative or submit an online referral request. Visit the LRS webpage for further details.
Q. What if my attorney took my money but didn't perform any services?
A. The Client Protection Fund of the State Bar of Michigan may reimburse, up to a certain limit, individuals who have been victimized by the intentional wrongful conduct of a licensed Michigan attorney, with whom they had an attorney client relationship.
Q. I want to file a complaint against an attorney, where do I start?
A. The Attorney Grievance Commission processes complaints regarding Michigan Lawyers. Attorney Grievance Commission, Marquette Building, Suite 256, 243 W. Congress, Detroit, MI 48226. Phone (313) 961-6585.
Q. I want to file a complaint against a judge, where do I start?
A. The Judicial Tenure Commission processes complaints against Michigan Judges. Judicial Tenure Commission, 211 W. Fort Street, Suite 1410, Detroit, MI 48226. Phone (313) 256-9104.