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Pattern of Unauthorized Law Practice Doesn't Violate Massachusetts Consumer Protection Act

In a pair of Decisions on May 15, 2018, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court considered the case of a property manager, who had initiated more than ninety eviction cases, without himself being either an owner of the property or a licensed attorney. The SJC determined that this constituted the unauthorized practice of law. They went on to rule that courts had the inherent authority to sanction such conduct, including imposing attorneys’ fees and costs. However, the Court ruled that this conduct did not, by itself, constitute a violation of the Consumer Protection Act, RSA 93A. The Court relied on a line of cases holding that misconduct during litigation is not a basis for a 93A Claim. Clearly, the Court had concerns about opening the flood gates to a large number of 93A counterclaims in a variety of unforeseen situations. 

See Kulsoon Ahmed-Kagzi v. Shavonna Williams (Mass. SJC May 15, 2018) and Rental Property Management Services v. Loretta Hatcher (Mass. SJC May 15, 2018).

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