Joint Comment of the Federal Trade Commission Staff and the Antitrust Division to North Carolina State Senator Bill Cook on North Carolina HB 436 Concerning Online Legal Forms and the Practice of Law

Matter Number:

V160012

Summary

FTC staff and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division submitted a joint comment, in response to a request from North Carolina State Senator Bill Cook, on the impact of interactive websites for generating legal forms on competition and consumers.  North Carolina House Bill 436 would exclude from the statutory definition of the practice of law the operation of a website that generates legal documents based on consumer responses to questions presented by interactive software, provided certain conditions are satisfied.  The comments encourage the North Carolina General Assembly to consider the benefits of interactive websites for consumers and competition in evaluating HB 436, and also recognize that such products may raise legitimate consumer protection issues.