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Upwork's Charges, Legal Fees and the Unlicensed Practice of Law

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Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
41 of 60

Preston, for once you are dead wrong.  Fee splitting, which is what Upwork does, flies in the face of the Rules of Professional Conduct on the face of it.  Opinions have been obtained from several state bars affirming this fact.

 

 A lawyer could potentially be disbarred for this.  It's a serious flaw in the platform, unique to attorneys.  Just because you don't think it's wrong, doesn't mean that it isn't.

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Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
42 of 60

Mary W wrote:

 

 

 A lawyer could potentially be disbarred for this.  It's a serious flaw in the platform, unique to attorneys.  Just because you don't think it's wrong, doesn't mean that it isn't.


And now, unfortunately, five Upwork freelancers have been sued over it, with a high likelihood that the court will refer them to the state bar for disciplnary action...and, that investigation is likely to lead to further investigation into attorneys using the site. It may be too late, but if I were one of the approximately 100 California attorneys practicing law through the site, I'd be deleting my profile asap.

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Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
43 of 60

The saddest thing is that there is no way of telling off-hand if the some of the attorneys on the platform have even been admitted to the bar.  Presumably they have graduated law school but I suspect some have not passed their respective bar exam or have let their license lapse or have been disbarred.

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Active Member
Heather S Member Since: Apr 9, 2019
44 of 60
Here is the complaint on the legal case for those who are interested.
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Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
45 of 60

Heather - no attachment?

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Active Member
Heather S Member Since: Apr 9, 2019
46 of 60

Apologies. I tried to attach using my cell phone....trying again. Smiley Happy 

 

** Edited for Community Guidelines **

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Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
47 of 60

Thanks, Heather.  Not terribly impressed with the plaintiffs' litigation history but this should make good reading.

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Active Member
Heather S Member Since: Apr 9, 2019
48 of 60
No... this group makes a practice of going after its competition, particularly in the intellectual property realm.
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Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
49 of 60

Heather S wrote:
No... this group makes a practice of going after its competition, particularly in the intellectual property realm.

They do, and I'm not super-impressed with them on a personal level. But, it seems their tactics are successful, since they now own a chunk of at least one of their former targets.

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Active Member
Heather S Member Since: Apr 9, 2019
50 of 60

It's dirty, for sure. The company has sued several competitors and I guess has won. And who knows what the State Bar will do. All I know is I'm staying away from doing attorney work on this site.