Upright Law on trial in Roanoke Bankruptcy court
Trial is set on September 25, 2017, for Upright Law, at the bankruptcy courthouse in Roanoke VA.
The US Justice Department, through the Office of the United States Trustee, is asking that Upright be banned from accepting cases in Virginia. They are also asking for refunds for fees that their clients paid. The government claims that Upright engages in various unethical practices.
Here’s a picture of the building in Chicago where Upright Law has its headquarters. Virginia is one of at least five states where cases against Upright Law are pending. It’s an Illinois law firm, with its main office in this building, in Chicago.
Upright Law assigns cases to “limited partners” in states around the country. You can read more here. And here.
Here’s a favorable news story about them.
Here is what the government says they will prove, in order to get Upright Law kicked out of Virginia. Basically, the Justice Department says that Upright Law uses sales people, not lawyer, in Chicago, which they call “closers” to give legal advice and make promises to consumers in Virginia. The Virginia consumer does not get to talk to an actual lawyer until about half of the “legal fee” has been paid.
Even after two local “partners” were blocked from the bankruptcy court for two years, Upright it still advertising here.
After the trial, Upright was fined for unauthorized practice of law. (Basically having sales people pretend to give legal advice.) Two local lawyers who were “partners” to Upright were barred from practicing bankruptcy law, one for a year and one for eighteen month. That decision is under appeal, so those lawyers are still able to work for now. Amazingly, Upright is still advertising here.
The Upright ad promises “Start Bankruptcy for $0 Down.” Unless talking to their sales office in Chicago counts as starting bankruptcy, that’s a lie. It also says “No office visit required.” That’s one of the things Judge Blacked ripped them for. The judge said, “An attorney has an affirmative duty to meet with and counsel his clients, answer any questions the client may have and explain the legal significance of their actions.”