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Call Lake County property tax appeal lawyer Richard Shapiro at 847-864-0000,
the Lake County tax attorney for Lake County property tax appeals (8-6, M-F).


Tax Appeals-Lake County Tax Appeals-Lake County Appeal Attorney


Over two years ago Lake County's Board of Review limited representation to attorneys. Will consultants disappear? Maybe. But as it is, this page is now just an artifact of history.

Could a non-lawyer preparing, signing, and filing Lake County tax appeals, or just presenting and arguing the evidence of a Lake County appeal, constitute the unauthorized practice of law in Illinois? Tax assessors perform the quasi-judicial function of adjudicating property rights, but does the inherent nature of that act require that one's representative be a licensed attorney?

No matter if the topic of the day is a Lake County appeal, Lake County appeal attorneys or Lake County tax appeal procedures, one might not be terribly surprised to learn that in 1937 the Illinois Supreme Court reserved the
exclusive power to define what constitutes practicing law in Illinois to the judiciary, and specifically not the General Assembly, let alone anyone else.

The Supreme Court gave some examples of what constituted the practice of law in that 1937* decision: "giving an opinion as to the right to maintain a cause of action" (telling someone they have a case), and "furnishing legal services, or giving advice to others on questions of law." Fleshing it out further, the court added, "One who, for a fee, contingent or otherwise, advises others as to their legal rights, the method to be pursued, and the forum to be selected, and the practice to be followed for the enforcement of such rights, is engaged in the practice of law."

Lake County Property Tax Appeals – Can That Be "Practicing Law"?


Over two years ago Lake County's Board of Review limited representation to attorneys. Will consultants vanish? Unlikely. But for now, this page has become an artifact of history.

What about a Cook or Lake County tax appeal-Lake County appeals - is that practicing law? Faced with the question in 1987**, the Supreme Court concluded: "Both the unsupervised completion of the [property valuation] complaint and the appearance before the administrative tribunal constituted the unauthorized practice of law" (emphasis mine). Sure sounds like a yes.

What would be the impact on a taxpayer who used a consultant, if it were later determined the consultant who filed their Lake County tax appeal was engaged in the unauthorized practice of law? In 1999*** an Illinois Appellate Court clearly indicated the appeal would be void and vest no jurisdiction in the tribunal. Accordingly, the complaint would become a nullity, the judgment set aside, the reduction stricken, and the assessment probably reinstated back to its original value.

What's the impact on the consultant? If a taxpayer says, "I hired you to do an illegal act so I'm not paying you," and if a court finds the consultant was engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, since a contract for an illegal act isn't enforceable the consultant would get nothing, except to hope she/he never has to deal with the Consumer Fraud Act, or the Illinois False Claims Act.

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Nothing contained in this website constitutes a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of litigation or a Lake County tax appeal-Lake County tax appeals-Lake County appeal property tax of / for Cook or Lake County. The information provided is not legal advice and no attorney-client or confidential relationship is or should be formed by the use of this site.

*
PEOPLE ex rel. CHICAGO BAR ASS'N v. GOODMAN (1937), 366 Ill. 346; 8 N.E. 2d 941
**
In re Jiro YAMAGUCHI (1987), 118 Ill.2d 417, 426; 113 Ill.Dec. 928; 515 N.E.2d 1235, 1239
***
ROGER SPRECK v. ILLINOIS PROPERTY TAX APPEAL BOARD (1999), NO. 5-99-0676


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