Professional Responsibility Legal Ethics

Dan is a trained paralegal who works for Erie Bank in Lakewood, Ohio. One day, Mary walks into the bank to apply for a mortgage loan to purchase a new house. She and Dan have a long conversation about Mary taking out a mortgage. During the conversation, Mary is concerned that were she to default on her loan, her credit would be destroyed. In response, Dan tells her: Don’t worry about it. If you don’t pay your loan, the only remedy the bank has is to foreclose on the house. The bank cannot go after you personally and your credit score will be unaffected. I’ve been dealing with this issue for years and I’m telling you that this is the Ohio law on the matter. Unfortunately, it turns out that Dan was incorrect. When Mary defaults on her loan the next year, her credit is badly hurt. Mary comes to your office and meets with your supervising attorney, Joe, to discuss the possibility of suing Dan based on his statement to her and her reliance on it. Because Dan sincerely believed that what he was saying was true, Joe immediately rules out the possibility of suing him for fraud or misrepresentation. (Note: This means you should NOT deal with the possibility of suing him for fraud or misrepresentation or the like!) Instead, Mary says to Joe, “Well, Dan isn’t a lawyer. Isn’t it wrong for him to tell me what the Ohio law is when he’s not even a lawyer?” Joe replies, “Well, I know that it’s unethical and even criminal to practice law without a license, but I don’t know if you can sue someone for unauthorized practice of law. I’ll have my star paralegal look into that.” After Mary leaves, Joe asks you to research this question, i.e., whether Mary can sue Dan based on his unauthorized practice of law, and to get back to him with an answer. Please prepare a properly researched essay to answer Joe’s question. An IRAC-style essay is appropriate for this assignment.