State v. Eazy Bail Bonds (CA1 4/21/10)

Good grief. 

Eazy bonded an accused who jumped. Eazy’s President – a non-lawyer – appeared at the forfeiture hearing, argued the matter, and then obtained a couple of continuances. When the judge finally ruled against Eazy she was told that she could move for reconsideration or appeal. A lawyer filed the motion and the appeal.

The Court of Appeals held that since she wasn’t a lawyer Eazy hadn’t technically “appeared” in the forfeiture proceedings and therefore couldn’t, as a matter of law, have made the showing necessary to avoid forfeiture. (Eazy is apparently a corporation, though you have to read between the lines a bit to reach that conclusion.)

Eazy’s lawyer asked the court to publish this to give “guidance” to trial courts, some of which have apparently been letting bail bond employees appear for their companies.

Kudos to him for that. But, like we said, good grief. Lawyers have been chastised for years about UPL. Heaven forefend that someone take a phone call from a guy who turns out to be a public adjuster, for example. The document-preparer committee spends most of its time, and rightly so, riding herd on preparers who think they can give legal advice. And yet the Court of Appeals has to “guide” judges not to let bondsmen make court appearances?

Pardon us hereafter if we yawn about UPL. Get your own house in order first.