Tenn. AG settles with divorce services provider

Keith Loria Jan. 20, 2011, 3:38am


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Legal Newsline) - Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper announced on Wednesday that he has reached a settlement with a woman who allegedly offered legal services without a license.

Charlene Carter, doing business as Carter's Paralegal Service, allegedly advertised divorce legal services on Craigslist even though she was not licensed to do so. Carter also allegedly had business cards misrepresenting her position.

The ads used phrases such as, "Do you need to get a divorce? We can help you out. Real cheap but professional." Prices for Carter's services were advertised at between $200 and $250.

Carter's violations allegedly included drafting and preparing legal documents such as divorce pleadings, bankruptcy pleadings, estate planning documents and contracts for profit.

The suit alleged that Carter's actions violated the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act and Unauthorized Practice and Improper Conduct statutes.

"The state takes all allegations of the unauthorized practice of law seriously," Cooper said. "I am pleased to announce that this matter has been resolved in a way that will benefit consumers."

Under terms of the agreement, Carter is required to refund all consumers who paid for legal services. She also must end any further illegal activity.

Additionally, Carter is required to pay $3,000 to the state for costs associated with the litigation.

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