From a Columbus Bar Association press release last Wednesday:
The Columbus Bar Association announced today that the Supreme Court of Ohio, in a unanimous decision in Columbus Bar Assn. v. Am. Family Prepaid Legal Corp., Slip Opinion No. 2009-Ohio-5336, (available here as a PDF) took a momentous step to protect Ohio’s citizens from illegal trust mills that prey upon seniors and other vulnerable individuals. American Family Prepaid Legal Corporation (“American Family”) and its various allied entities and associates – after being pursued by the Columbus Bar since 2002 – were found to have practiced law without a license and to have used scare tactics, misinformation and false promises to induce thousands of individuals in Ohio and other states to purchase living trust packages and other estate planning documents at inflated prices. Often these legal documents were not needed or legally appropriate, and did not fulfill the purposes of the people who purchased them. As a result, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a permanent injunction to shut down their operations and penalized them with heavy fines, including a $6,387,990 sanction against American Family and others.
After 2005’s Cleveland Bar Association v. Sharp Estate Services, Inc. et. al., you’d have thought people would know better than to try to prey on the elderly in Ohio… Guess not.
Well done CBA and those involved in pursuing and winning this righteous case!