Lien Filing Service Engaged in Unauthorized Practice of Law

Kegler Brown Construction Newsletter

More and more cost conscious subcontractors and suppliers are utilizing lien filing services, rather than conventional law firms, to perfect their preliminary notices and mechanic's liens. Many of us who practice construction law have not only expressed concern about the quality provided by these firms, but also were of the belief that many of these lien filing services were engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. The Ohio Supreme Court has agreed and ruled that preparing a mechanic's lien or advising on lien rights is only to be done by attorneys licensed in this state.

The Ohio Supreme Court in the case of Ohio State Bar Association v. Lienguard, Inc., et al., 2010 Ohio 3827, has determined that Lienguard and out-of-state attorney Allen R. Popper improperly engaged in the practice of law and are permanently enjoined from preparing, signing, filing and pursuing liens in Ohio. Subcontractors and suppliers who want to protect their lien rights in Ohio are encouraged to utilize only licensed Ohio attorneys to do so.