LegalShield (formerly Pre-Paid Legal Services Inc

Life is unpredictable. LegalShield gives you the confidence of knowing whatever comes your way, someone is looking out for you. Whether its with affordable, prepaid legal service that puts a dedicated law firm on your side or identity theft protection with IDShield thats best in class. IDShield is the only identity theft protection company armed with a team of Kroll licensed private investigators on call to restore your identity With LegalShield and IDShield, youre always covered.

LegalShields 650 employees are dedicated to serving our more than 4 million users in the United States and Canada. Protect yourself and your family today.

1225 LegalShield (formerly Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.) Consumer Reviews and Complaintsfeatured reviews, collapseText: Close featured reviews, target: [.js-campaign-reviews__featured] data-expand-collapse-action=expand>

featured reviews, collapseText: Close featured reviews, target: [.js-campaign-reviews__featured] data-expand-collapse-action=expandThis review is featured by LegalShield (formerly Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.)

We love LegalShield. All we can say is, LegalShield is great for people who are in low and fixed income like us. Attorneys are very expensive and most people cannot afford it. LegalShield is a lifesaver.

We couldnt agree more! LegalShield is here to help our members worry less and live more. We greatly appreciate you and your kind words! Thank you!

I know this service guarantees an attorney returning my initial call within 8 hours as a consumer, 4 hours as a business owner and a document review within 3 days. Imagine my delight when I had a lease document review back within hours of my initial call and email of forms! Its amazing what all attorneys can do to simplify my life when I can seek their advice without first determining the financial importance outweighing the cost!

We are so glad to hear that you have had nothing but success when utilizing your membership! LegalShield provides a great peace of mind for our members and we thank you for the amazing review! We appreciate you and your time.

This is the easiest way to have an attorney 1 call away, no guessing or stressing and you have access to an entire network of paid legal providers. Lots of membership perks that cover the membership fee for years. You get discounts from 400 different national companies all from the convenience of your phone. Ask LegalShield requires no login and is free to download. You can find answers to questions like:

What is a living will? How much does it cost to file for bankruptcy? How do I obtain a death certificate? Will a revocable living trust avoid probate expenses? Are traffic violations civil or criminal matters? How can I collect money that is owed to me by my customers? Can I collect child support from an out-of-state parent?

Are subleases allowed? All these questions can be addressed by calling your attorney from your cell or home phone.

Thank you so much for your kind words, we couldnt agree more! Thank you for being a member! We appreciate you!

They said that its clearly stated on thier website, which when i was looking for it it said call and nothing more. They said it is in the contract… which 90% dont read…. so oh well. Im suprised at getting a response so ill update it for that reason. Also i have not had any more attempts of payment from my card.

Im giving 2 stars because of the difficulty of cancelling. You have to call then they talk about all the benefits youll lose and this and that when all you want to do is cancel. After 5-10 min of a rep trying to talk you out of cancelling you are transferred to an automatic cancellation line Which just tells you, they wont cancel without written consent. Which you can send in via email, fax, or mail. This is ridiculous. Its clear that this long and drawn out process is purposeful in an attempt and making you just simply give up and keep the service. You cant just cancel. Its impossible. And even after emailing, there is no automatic cancelling. You have to wait, meanwhile your card can still be charged.

LegalShields cancellation policy is stated on our website as well as in the benefits contract that is sent to each member, clearly explaining a written notice is needed to properly cancel a plan. Upon calling in to request cancellation a member is explained what services they will be giving up, as many members are not aware of the many benefits they have available to them. Once LegalShield is notified of a member wanting to cancel, a billing hold is placed on the membership to provide enough time for a written notice to be received and then a membership will fully cancel once that written request is confirmed.

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I was a member and sales rep for Pre-paid Legal and when I got hurt and needed their help they told me they could not help me. Only if Im being sued can they help me. I told him thats why I have property insurance so why would I need Legal Shield. Anyway I went to use them and they wanted to charge me outrageous fees. This company is nothing more than a scam and everybody should be concern especially the dopes that they have out there selling this crap!

As a member of LegalShield, formerly doing business as Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc., trial defense benefits are available if you are the named defendant in a civil suit. If you are the Plaintiff, there are benefits available depending on the details of your case which can include consultation, document review, and the preferred member discount. This information is made available in the benefits contract that is sent to each member and at

This company takes advantage of people who dont have enough money to get by. I signed up to sell LegalShield because someone took advantage of my financial position, made me trust her, and led me to believe the service could sell itself. Before my first month was up I had reached out to my family, I had my parents reach out to friends, and I even went as far as to ask my friends if theyd share some info with their parents. They all said the same thing: that sounds unnecessary. And theyre right: this company has families buy into a service at about $50/month for 12 months a year. Unless you are constantly getting in trouble with the law, $600 yearly legal fees for NOTHING if you end up not needing an attorney is ABSURD.

With about 11 days left in what I THOUGHT was a 30 day trial in a $249 investment in marketing services the company offers associates, I contacted them about backing out. At this point, they informed me that there was only a 5 day trial for me to get any money back. I feel deceived, misled, and taken advantage of this company. Shame on them. Do not become an associate if you think you can make a dime by just sharing info with friends and family! (The truth is they want you to spend MORE to be certified to present & sell to small businesses). Scam artists at their finest, they know that associates like me do not have the time or money to file a class action lawsuit.

When a prospect elects to sign up to become a LegalShield Associate, there are initial fees outlined in the agreement and explained to the prospect. There is a 5-day refund policy which allows the new associate to review the information and if they determine this is not a business they would like to pursue, then it can be refunded in full. Currently, there is not a 30-day trial offer when becoming a LegalShield Associate.

Checking my credit card statement and found two charges of $99.00 and $9.95 from LegalShield, a company I had never done any business and never even heard of. Called the company, explain to a representative of what happen. He asked for my credit card number to look up the charges, which he found, apparently someone I never heard of used my CC information to purchase services from LegalShield. I told the representative that I did not know this person. I did not authorize these charges. The rep told me to file a police report and call the bank, but they were going to charge my card anyway. I called my bank and cancelled the CC, and Im disputing the charges. This all happen today, so I will see what happens. I would stay clear of this company, seems like a scam.

We will certainly look into this matter and refund any monies taken without your authorization. When LegalShield receives an application to become a member and/or to become a selling Associate, we process the application as requested. We are a legitimate and respectable company who has been doing business for 45 years and certainly not a scam of any sorts.

I clearly asked the associate selling me the product what is the refund policy. He said 30 days trial period. I called two weeks into signing up, and LegalShield say starting April 1st, it is 5 days cancellation policy. Huge scam.

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When in need of legal service Legal Shield ALWAYS denies to represent me saying its not covered. The last instance is I have been refused representation for a speeding ticket I received. Im beginning to wonder what is actually covered and what Im paying for!! However they do give me the option to obtain representation at a discount.

LegalShield views its members as the companys most important asset. So when youre not happy with the service you received, we want to know. Please visit us on to leave us your feedback. We will look into your concern and reach out in a timely fashion to ensure satisfaction.

LegalShield assigned a law provider to us for a consultation for a tenant/landlord dispute. We vacated our four year rental home on the false pretenses that the landlady wanted to move in. She rented the property within two weeks of our departure. The greedy landlady also retained our $1200 security deposit. We left the house in pristine condition, had the premises move-out detailed cleaned by a team. We took 32 photos of every room and appliance to proved the condition. There were no damages or breakages. The case was handed to an attorney who mishandled the trial prep from the start and was subsequently fired after incompetent work and the complaints of multiple unhappy clients, What we were told appeared to be a straightforward case, we paid the $2300 represented as the fee for 10 hours work. We were led to believe that there would be no further charges.

We lost the case (however we prevailed meaning the Judge ruled in our favor but cut the refund). We were also granted all reasonable attorneys fees. And only received $86 from our security deposit after our LegalShield providers attorney dismissed a vital witness (an realtor agent) who was subpoenaed and appeared in Broward County Court (FL) to provide testimony. Now there were a further three lawyers assigned to our simple case who were in turn either fired or resigned. The Defendant hired an attorney even though we offered to surrender the complete deposit to her. This being the reason we sought help from LegalShield.

Now the assigned Law firm (not prepared to state the name for obvious reasons) is saying we owe a further $6900. This is simply daylight robbery. This is unacceptable the creative. My wife and I are both Senior citizens who have never been sued and this fight of our security deposit to be rightfully returned is our very first lawsuit. We believe strongly to do no harm to anyone but feel the compulsion to seek legal assistance for Justice to prevail. Now we have been slammed by the LegalShield Law firm who has retained all of the downpayment and installments of our legal fees (they are saying this is to cover their balance.) This is not right!!! We have been doubly wronged.

Please someone take action to have this situation rectified. We low income family struggling to make it from month to month, as are many other families out there. We would like to have someone please look into this matter and transmit this Consumer complaint to LegalShield. We have now discontinued our membership and only had only other minor matter involving a letter sent on our behalf to recover a check issued to us without funds. Thank you.

I am a LegalShield member, I greatly enjoy my membership, it is very helpful if you know how to utilize it. Its not a magical fix all overnight solution, which is what Im assuming most people think when they purchased their memberships. Its not free, no lawyer is just going to represent you for nothing but it clearly states in the sign up process that members are guaranteed a 25% preferred member discount from the lawyers theyre referred to, you still have to spend out of pocket money for legal representation.

However if you need letters written or documents reviewed, a living will or power of attorney those are free under the membership. Pre-existing legal matters like unpaid parking tickets, divorce, child custody etc. Pretty much anything that requires a lawyer to physically be present in court would fall under the 25% discount benefit. Though you will still be paying significantly for legal representation -as would anyone needing legal representation- youre paying less for any of these matters than you would be without the help of LegalShield.

I purchased my membership out of New York and I have to say in the 4 months Ive had my LegalShield membership Ive have gotten loads of significant advice from the law firm out of New York, and as a father being able to get my last will and testament done for free thanks to my membership as to where if I were to have one done up by some random lawyer it would cost me upward of 100s-1000s of dollars is just awesome! Having them write letters on your behalf to get collections agencies etc to stop harassing you, even more powerful. Get the membership, learn how to utilize it properly and I promise you wont be let down! Legal matters dont get better overnight and nobody is going to represent you for free other than public defenders or conflict defenders. LegalShield provides quality law firms and yes you are going to have to pay money but its a lot less than what youd pay without the membership! Be smart. Use your heads my dear people! ­čÖé

Thank you so much for your kind words and we are so glad to hear that you have received great assistance with your legal matters! We greatly appreciate you being a member of LegalShield!

The first lawyer I was assigned, Mark ** of Rockford could not read the documents I gave him. The second lawyer assigned was Frank ** of Batavia who had me drive 60 miles to tell me he would not drive that far to represent me. The third lawyer I was assigned, Steven ** of Skokie has some serious negative reviews concerning his lack of honesty by former clients. I was able to talk briefly with him twice. I emailed him all the court documents he needed. After that, many messages I left with him was a waste of time. We had an agreement that I would call him March 2, 2018. I called him twice that evening. He ignored me. LegalShields law firm, Shimanovsky & Moscardini, Ltd. refers you to a lawyer they dont screen, obviously.

LegalShield views its members as the companys most important asset. So when youre not happy with the service you received, we want to know. We are not showing a concern has been filed on this matter, meaning we were not made aware of this members issue. Please visit to leave us your feedback. We will look into your concern and reach out in a timely fashion to ensure satisfaction.

Have been a member since 1985 and have been happy with every situation the attorneys handled. It was quick, and resolved. We were able to save thousands of dollars because of the membership on one situation alone. Would NEVER be without it. Thank you LegalShield!!

We are so happy to hear about your satisfaction with our service! Thank you for being a member all these years! We greatly appreciate you!

Ive had LegalShield for 7 years. I have always thought they were amazing. Until today. I called LegalShield for an extremely important matter yesterday, 02/15/18, and they told me a lawyer would be in touch with me between 1-8 hours. That normally happens. However, no lawyer EVER called. So today, 02/16/18, I called LegalShield 5 times to speak to this attorney, Michelle (I only know her name because the receptionist said it), and the receptionist tells me shes always on the phone. So now its after 5, on a Friday, and a lawyer has never called me, not once. This is the first time LegalShield has ever done this to us, but its enough!! This legal matter were dealing with is important and them ** around is costing us time. Weve paid for this membership for 7 years, and now when we need them they suck!!!

LegalShield views its members as the companys most important asset. So when youre not happy with the service you received, we want to know. Please visit to leave us your feedback. We will look into your concern and reach out in a timely fashion to ensure satisfaction. Please keep in mind that to preserve confidentiality, communication will be made only with the affected member.

This membership is amazing! Once I realize that attorneys dont magically fix the situation things got a lot better. My expectations at first was they were going to fix everything then after speaking with the person who sold me the plan I completely understand what the membership is and how to use it. I love it.

Travon, we are so glad to hear that you are enjoying your membership! LegalShield is a great service to have should you ever need assistance, thank you for being a member!

I have had my membership for 4 years now and it has always been a great support for me and my family in regards to have our rights protected. Two years ago my apartment complex tried to kick me out for an ad I didnt post on Airbnb, but when I called my provider law firm and explained the situation. I was given a 3 days notice to leave the apartment but instead I received an excuse letter from the administration management for the mistake.

Rene, we are so happy to hear that your matter was taken care of with full satisfaction! Thank you for taking the time to let us know how you have benefited from your membership!

Every time Im given the opportunity to utilize these services, I am truly astonished at the professionalism and quick turn around I receive. As soon as I became a member of LegalShield and contacted my Provider Law Firm, I knew I had to let my good friends and family know about LegalShield!

We are so glad to hear that you have received nothing but the best service and couldnt agree with you more. Thank you for being a member of LegalShield!

One of their associates apparently submitted an application for Legal Shield using my payment information. My debit card has been fully in my possession. I had never heard of this company before checking my bank statement this morning. Apparently I paid for some random mans account, a mans name Ive never heard of before. I told them that this was NOT an authorized charge, provided a front side copy of my VISA debit card showing the card number was mine (not this strange mans), and a copy of my bank statement showing the charges. I was charged $99 for what I assume after researching, an account for him to sell Legal Shield. Ive filed a police report, identity theft report, and my bank is investigating. LegalShield on the other hand is not cooperating. They want additional proof from me that the debit card is in fact mine. Im not sure what more I can prove to them without further violating my own privacy.

Im also not sure what I would gain from trying to have another persons card refunded. I also find it interesting how they are demanding so much from me to refund a service I never purchased, yet clearly didnt require any type of verification before charging my card. They will not confirm to me that the account opened using my payment information has been or will be closed. They refuse to provide any information on the application I paid for. Ive also asked several times for them to provide information to the police and they will not do that either.

So now I am out $99 until my bank finishes their investigation. There is apparently an Associate of LegalShield who has my debit card information, and possibly more information of mine which is extremely concerning, and LegalShield wont confirm that this account is closed or that any action will be taken. They say to work in legal services, including identity theft protection, yet their Associates are opening accounts and registering as Legal Shield representatives by using stolen debit card information. LegalShield takes no responsibility for this, does not investigate further, does not contact authorities, and will not refund the fraudulent charges to the rightful debit card owner.

As a company, LegalShield takes any indication of fraud very seriously. We launch full investigations using every resource available to us so that we may properly resolve the matter. If funds are received by way of a fraudulent action, we will provide the appropriate refund once we have confirmation of the transactions and are able to identify the parties involved.

I was using the internet to search for a way to find assistance with completing a very simple legal document (a title of transfer) out of state. I stumbled on a site that lead me to a LegalShield salesman who swore to me that the purchase of a membership would result in the completion of everything I needed done without further cost. I let myself be talked into it but very soon found that the purchase of a membership only entitled me to a discount on the legal services of the company they referred me to. I immediately canceled my membership which they were willing to do but when it came to getting a refund of the membership fees, this proved to be an entirely different matter. They said I need to submit a request for a refund separately which I did but so far my request has been completely ignored. Dont be fooled. This is a scam!

Updated on 03/03/2018: In response to my previous review on this site in which I report that although I cancelled my LegalShield membership less than 24 hours after having been talked into it through false claims being made, I still had not received a refund of my membership fees 3 weeks later. A LegalShield representative responded to my review by saying that members who cancel their memberships are entitled to a refund of their fees. However, a month has gone by now and I still have not received a refund and LegalShield does not respond to my emails. I will report here if, in fact, this does eventually have a good ending. In the meantime, I am still waiting.

Updated on 03/06/2018: I wrote 2 previous negative reviews about my experience with LegalShield and my difficulties in getting a refund but to be fair, I now want to report that although it took 6 weeks, they did refund my membership almost in full. I can not give them high marks for customer service however as they never responded to my emails and did not notify me when they finally completed the refund. I only found out from my credit card statement.

Upon written request, the Member shall be entitled to be reimbursed by the Company the unused portion of the membership fees paid for this Contract, the amount to be calculated on a pro-rata basis over the period of the Contract. This specific refund request is currently under review and in the process of being completed as it was received on 1/30/18.

They promised free first consultation, never got it. In fact they were charging way more for the first consult than other attorneys outside of Legal Shield. I knew it was too good to be true. They dont help like they promised. I shouldve read the reviews first.

LegalShield members receive consultations on unlimited legal matters as a benefit of their membership at no additional cost. Members may also receive our Preferred Member Discount of 25% off the lawyers standard hourly rate for any services that are not fully covered by the plan.

I was recruited by a representative of this company. In his ad it said Would you like to have those old traffic tickets resolved. I replied and spoke with the guy who assured me this service could do that. After receiving my membership numbers, I called the attorney selected for me and was told since you got the tickets before joining, we cant help you unless you pay for it. I called and asked to cancel and for a refund. Its been well over a month and no refund yet. I called and emailed my request again, a supervisor called me and got my information and story. Still there has not been a refund yet. Just a lot of its being processed replies. I would caution anyone NOT TO USE this service.

As a LegalShield Member, a Pre-existing legal event is an event that predates the effective date of the membership. You may have consultation on unlimited legal matters including Pre-existing. You may also receive our Preferred Member Discount of 25% off your lawyers standard hourly rate for assistance with any Pre-existing legal matters.

I was not allowed to have a phone consult with an attorney unless I sent over documentS first. I repeatedly advise them that I did not have documents. I then spoke to another attorney in the same practice. He said that I did not need documents but then proceeded to argue with me (because he was curious), to why I wanted to talked to an attorney about an issue he already gave me his opinion on. His job was to refer me to a MD attorney who knew MD laws. Customer service was rude & argued with me for 2 wks. Finally, when I got the contract in the mail, I called them and asked them where in the contracted it stated I needed documents. After a long hold, a snippy rep got on the phone and said that they finally canceled my membership & refunded my money. They are deceiving and dishonest but they didnt get my money!! Stay far away from these scammers!

LegalShield provides benefits as outlined in the membership contract. We have a Provider Firm set up within each state to service the members of said state. Your legal issue originated from another state other than your state of residence. In this case, our process is to review any related documents to ensure the legal situation does get referred to the correct state as well as determine benefits of how the legal situation will fall within the benefits of the contract. We understand this process was not understood originally and not acceptable, so we cancelled and refunded your membership in full. We wish you the best.

I attempted to cancel back in July of this year after my assigned Lawyer didnt get back with me after a couple tries. I even informed them it was over a will and time sensitive. I was also going to be involved in their MLM program but decided I could not effectively promote something I didnt believe was beneficial. I confess, I USED TO FAIL to go over my bank statements carefully but I did this month and found [in December] there was LegalShield, taking out money STILL. I guess they taught me something, always double check your statements! Everything they sent me went to spam so I had no way of knowing I was still with them.

I CANNOT PROVE THE NEXT PART but it is oddly coincidental. After, accusing them of being a waste of money and the only way they can keep people is to keep billing them when they try to leave. Somebody tried to get a credit card in my name in Detroit Michigan. I MEAN THE SAME DAY and my password with LegalShield just happened to be the same as that credit card [which I changed]. I had no problems before that…ever. But that is speculation but I can say WITHOUT A DOUBT, they gave me NO refund for all those months I had actually quit their service.

I immediately asked for a refund $140 roughly in total which according to their policy shouldnt be an issue (they dont refund the $100 state fee I had to pay when I set up with them. Isnt that swell). I got no response. They just sent me an email letting me know it was cancelled. I followed up with another email 2 weeks later asking about the refund and got ignored. So I submitted a BBB complaint, yesterday I got a call from customer service regarding that complaint stating everything was cancelled and they would refund everything minus the $10 nonrefundable fee (scam fee) and obviously the $99 state fee since that wasnt paid to them, mind you I was ok with this. I didnt expect them to refund that stuff.

However, today I looked at my bank account and have been refunded $40 total so far and CHARGED another $20 that I DID NOT give permission for! I sent them another email that was this time immediately responded to stating everything was cancelled (though they did list the wrong date for cancellation) and the refund request would be reviewed. If they post this charge Im reporting it as fraud because I have lots of written documentation stating they do not have permission to charge me and they are too incompetent to fix this.

LegalShield

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

American multi-level marketing company

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. (19762011)

Multi-level marketing, Legal services

James B. Rosseau, Sr. (President, Business Solutions)

John Long (President, Network Marketing and Sales)

identity theft monitoring and restoration

LegalShield(previously known asPre-Paid Legal) is anAmericancorporation that sells legal service products throughmulti-level marketingin the United States and Canada.

The company was founded August 8, 1972 as the Sportsmans Motor Club. In 1976 it was incorporated as Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc., and made itsinitial public offeringin 1984.

Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. went from being traded on the New York Stock Exchange back to a private company in 2011 when it was acquired byMidOcean Partnersfor $650 million and subsequently changed its name to LegalShield.

LegalShield develops and marketspre-paid legal serviceplans through a network of more than 6,900 independent provider attorneys across the U.S. and Canada. The company also markets anidentity theftmonitoring and restoration services through its partnership withKroll Inc..[4]The companys membership plans are sold as employee benefits and directly through itsmulti-level marketingdivision.[5]

LegalShield was established as Sportsmans Motor Club in 1972, then known as Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. from 1976 until its acquisition byMidOcean Partnersin 2011.[3][6]

Harland Stonecipher (19382014) served as the companys founding president andchief executive officer(CEO).[7][8]Thelife insurancesalesman from Ada, Oklahoma, created Pre-Paids predecessor, a motor service club, after being involved in a car accident in 1969. Although the other party was cited for fault, they filed a suit against him for the accident. Stonecipher hadhealthlife, andvehicle insurancecoverage, but was required to hire a lawyer to defend himself in court and struggled to pay associated legal expenses.[9]After researching the industry of European legal expense plans, he created the Sportsmans Motor Club to reimburse members for legal fees.[9][10]

Pre-Paid Legal began using network marketing (multi-level marketing or MLM) in 1983. The club changed its name and incorporated as Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. in 1976,[11]becoming the first company in the United States to provide pre-paid legal plans for individuals.[9]Initially, members could choose their own lawyer and seek reimbursement from Pre-Paid, but by the 1980s, the company established a way to direct members needing legal assistance to preselected firms.[9]

The company wentpublicin 1984.[12]Pre-Paid was first listed on theNASDAQ, then moved to theAmerican Stock Exchangein 1986,[13][14]followed by theNew York Stock Exchangein 1999, being listed as PPD.[8][15][16]In 1998 Pre-Paid acquired The Peoples Network, a marketing company based inDallas.[17][18]

In 2001 the Wyoming Attorney General issued a press release announcing When we discovered that Pre-Paid was using prohibited income representations to promote their multilevel marketing program, we warned them that the representations were prohibited by Wyoming law. Pre-Paid paid$4,000 in lieu of civil penalties, reimbursed the state for $1,000 in costs, and refunded $2,000 to participants who claimed to have been misled.[19][20]In the same year the Securities and Exchange Commission required Pre-Paid to stop counting the commissions paid out to sales associates asassets, instead ofexpenses, which reduced reported earnings by over half.[7]Pre-Paid did not file its financial statements for 2000 until February 2002. The statements showed decreases in earnings from $43.6 million to $20.5 million and stockholder equity from $147 million to $42 million.[21]

TheDenver Business Journalreported in 2002 that Pre-Paid earned a $27.1 million profit on $303.7 million in revenue, an increase from its $1.9 million profit on revenues of $129.6 million in 1997, and provided its members access to a network of 46 firms with 1,270 lawyers.[22]

About 30 lawsuits by approximately 250 plaintiffs were filed in Alabama in 2004 against Pre-Paid. All of these were dismissed or settled by 2006.[15]

Pre-Paid faced two lawsuits in Mississippi in October 2004 and February 2005. A jury ruled in favor of the company in the first suit. In the second suit a jury found Pre-Paid and Stonecipher guilty of deceptive advertising and fraud.[7]In November 2005, Pre-Paid and Stonecipher were required to pay $9.9 million in punitive damages.[23][15][23]The company and the Oklahoma Chamber of Commerce, of which Stonecipher served as a director,[8]described the lawsuits against the company as frivolous and abusive.[24]

Pre-Paids independent auditor was unable to approve the companys 2004 financial statements because of material weaknesses related to the processing of commissions.[7]New rules proposed by theFederal Trade Commission(FTC) required Pre-Paid to disclose to potential associates that less than 25 percent of its sales representatives sold multiple insurance plans in 2005, which the company confirmed in aU.S. Securities and Exchange Commission(SEC) filing.[15]

In November 2006 Pre-Paid announced plans to spend $27.4 million to repurchase shares owned by executives.[15]

In 2007 the FTC began investigating Pre-Paids marketing of its identity theft service and Affirmative Defense Response System (ADRS), which the company developed to increase group sales. Pre-Paid changed its marketing materials in 2009, after regulators found the companys claims misleading regarding ADRS.[25]According to an SEC filing, the FTC and Pre-Paid [reached] a mutually agreeable solution, and in 2010 the agency ended its three-year investigation without any action. Pre-Paid remained the focus of an informal SEC inquiry; the agency requested documentation about the companys stock repurchasing, consumer complaints related to provider law firms, payment card compliance, Stoneciphers resignation in April 2010,[6]as well as the resignation of director Tom Smith.[25]

In January 2011 Pre-Paid Legal agreed to merge with entities formed byMidOcean Partners, a private equity firm headquartered in New York which it says is focused on the middle market. The transaction would result in the company becoming privately held. The deal closed on June 30, 2011.[26]Beginning in July 2011 Rip Mason served as Legal Shields Chief Executive Officer.

On September 10, 2011 the company announced[27]that it would change its name to LegalShield. The new corporate name for the 40-year-old company was said by the company to be part of an overall re-branding initiative following the acquisition of Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc. by MidOcean Partners.

In July 2014Jeff Bellwas appointed Legal Shields Chief Executive Officer replacing Rip Mason. Rip Mason assumed the position of Chairman of the Board.[28]

Silcox, Beth Douglass (March 2, 2015).Company Spotlight Equal Access, Equal Adaptability: LegalShields Moral Imperative to Grow.

. Plano, Texas: VideoPlus.ISSN1554-6470

Company Information: Leadership. LegalShield

Burkes, Paula (September 7, 2014).Executive Q&A: LegalShield chief comes home to Oklahoma roots.

. Oklahoma City: The Oklahoman Media Company

Pre-Paid Legal Services to Add Identity Theft Benefits Provided by Kroll Background America.

Pre-paid legal services: Worth the money?. cbc.ca.

Pre-Paid Legal in $650 Million Buyout.

.The New York Times Company. January 31, 2011.ISSN0362-4331OCLC1645522

Davis, Melissa (February 22, 2005).Pre-Paid Weathers Guilty Verdict.

U.S Chamber Reappoints Harland Stonecipher CEO of Pre-Paid Legal Services, to Board of DirectorsUnited States Chamber of Commerce. June 27, 2005. Archived fromthe originalon December 2, 2006

Martin, Douglas (November 20, 2014).Harland Stonecipher, Insurance Pioneer, Dies at 76.

Swanson, Eric (November 11, 2014).LegalShield founder and community booster Harland Stonecipher dies at 76.

Form 10K Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.

United States Securities Exchange Commission

Gene Lehmann (August 23, 2011).New firm to rebrand Pre-Paid Legal in Ada.

The Big Book of Home Business Company Directory

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Adelson, Andrea (May 26, 1996).Earning It; Getting Legal Advice, Without Billable Hours.

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Bernick, Bob, Jr. (October 30, 2008).Shurtleffs Fundraising Trounces Hills Deseret News (Salt Lake City) Newspaper Find Articles at BNET. FindArticles.com. Archived fromthe originalon October 31, 2009

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Fletcher, Amy (September 15, 2002).Prepaid legal is a cheaper way to get lawyers services.

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Winslow, Laurie (February 1, 2011).Pre-Paid to Merge with MidOcean.

Pre-Paid Legal Services Becomes LegalShield. Pre-Paid Legal Services

PR Newswire.LegalShield Names Jeff Bell as Chief Executive Officer.

Prepaid Legal to Merge with MidOcean Partners, Acquisition for $650 Million July 2011

Attorney Generals Office Nets Refunds From Multi-Level Marketer

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Best Legal Services

Lawyers help individuals by providing legal protection from lawsuits and criminal charges as well as planning for the future. Online services have made legal options and information more widely available and more affordable. People can use online legal services to:

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LegalShield (formerly Pre-Paid Legal Services, Inc.)

LegalShield is a subscription service that provides a variety of covered legal services to members for a single monthly fee. They serve residents in 49 states and parts of Canada and have been in business for more than 40 years.Find out more

Rocket Lawyer is an online platform for creating legal documents and getting legal advice. Customers can purchase services a la carte or by purchasing a monthly or yearly membership. They have tools for individuals and businesses.

LegalZoom has been in business for 15 years and helped over 300 million customers create their own legal documents. They sell legal document services and memberships for consultations to business owners and individuals.

First American Title Insurance, a subsidiary of First American Financial Corporation, has roots going back to the 19th century. Their insurance policies protect owners from forgery, fraud and liens against their insured property.

ImmigrationDirect.com services and online programs helps individuals quickly and accurately complete all the paperwork needed for their U.S. immigration application. They offer telephone and email support 24/7.

Paternaude & Felix was founded in 1991. The firm offer creditors litigation services to collect debts. They have offices in Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

H. Kent Hollins, Attorney at Law P.A. works with Collection Bureau of Kansas, a for-profit debt collection company. The firm and collection agency are based in Topeka, Kan., and provides services to a wide variety of industries.

Formerly Cohen & Slamowitz, Selip & Stylianou is a high volume debt collection firm. The firms headquarters are located in Woodbury, N.Y. The offer customers in New York and New Jersey creditors litigation services.

BizFiling is an online business incorporation service. The site sells a variety of services to help people start, manage and grow their businesses, and they help with filing all legal paperwork. The company was founded in 1996.

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The ConsumerAffairs Research Team believes everyone deserves to make smart decisions. We aim to provide readers with the most up-to-date information available about todays consumer products and services.

When hiring an attorney or other legal advisor, the cost may seem prohibitive. However, the Internet has made it easier than ever to find an affordable attorney. Different sites have different payment options, so consumers can find a service that works best for them.

Some legal service websites offer monthly, semi-annual and/or annual memberships. The membership price includes access to the services of an affiliated lawyer. Memberships cover the total cost of some legal services; however, more complicated legal activities, such as a criminal defense at a trial, require the member to pay additional legal fees.

If you only need an attorney for a simple task, such as creating a legally binding will, a website that offers flat fees for a single service may be right for you. You can purchase a single document or have a brief session with an attorney and pay only for that service.

Websites that refer customers to lawyers are usually free to use. These websites dont sell anything to customers. Instead, attorneys may pay a fee to be listed on the website.

You might need a variety of legal services at different times in your life. Some sites offer many services, and others focus on just a few services. Knowing what kind of service you need will help you select the best legal website to use.

If you want to create personal legal documents or simply learn about a legal issue, any site that sells document services will probably meet your needs. If your needs are fairly straight-forward, the documents available online should be sufficient.

If you want to establish a business or get help managing a businesses legal paperwork, consider using a company that caters to business owners and entrepreneurs. These sites may be less expensive than an attorney, but they may not offer the same detailed legal advice as a consultation with a lawyer.

If you have a complex estate, are making major changes to your business structure, are a party of a contested divorce and/or need legal counsel for a trial, you should hire a local attorney who specializes in the type of law youre dealing with. Unless you already have a membership subscription, you will likely be best served by using a referral service.

Most legal websites allow users to create legal documents, whether for personal or business use. Consider how and where you want these documents stored.

Cloud-based storage lets users store things in the cloud, so they can access them anytime and anywhere. This service makes it easy to access documents, but you will need to make sure someone you trust can access the account if necessary.

Any document storage service should offer top-grade security and encryption services. Make sure the website explains what security protocols and measures are in place so your personal information doesnt end up in the wrong hands.

Some sites only allow you to download and print documents. This service is good for anyone concerned about the safety of their online documents or who wants to make sure others can access them in an emergency. Legal documents should be stored in a secure location, like a home safe or safety deposit box, or left with an attorney.

Communication between an attorney and client is protected by attorney-client privilege. However, the presence of a third party can sometimes negate the confidentiality. Make sure to read any services fine print to determine whether communication sent through their website is legally protected.

If you are highly concerned about the confidentiality of your communication, consider using a referral site so you can talk to a local attorney in person.

Many sites only work to connect lawyers and clients. Information you send through these website is likely not protected. Questions that you post on online legal forums are not protected.

Many legal documents can be prepared and submitted without the help of an actual attorney. Make sure you understand who will be helping you and what kind of credentials they have.

Membership sites and referral sites will direct you to a lawyer who is licensed and in good standing with the bar association in your state. Attorneys have attended law school and are qualified to answer your legal questions and represent you in court cases.

The credentials of the websites customer service representatives will vary greatly depending on the companys policies. These representatives will be able to help you prepare a variety of documents and refer you to an attorney if necessary.

If youre looking for an attorney, you should be aware of how a referral service or subscription program selects lawyers to include in their directory or to partner with.

Websites should have a system in place to ensure that the providers they recommend are actually licensed in the state where you live. Consumers can always visit the website for the bar association in their state to confirm an attorneys credentials.

Like doctors, many lawyers have a particular specialty. Use a website that clearly indicates whether they can match you with someone who has experience working with cases like yours.

You want an attorney who will return your calls or emails in a timely manner and behave professionally. When using a referral website or membership program, check to see if they have a policy that dictates what they expect from recommended attorneys.

Websites that refer visitors to lawyers in their area typically display relevant information, like fee types and specialties, in addition to a lawyers contact information. Referral sites that have some sort of screening process and/or offer additional information and reviews may give potential clients a better sense of whether or not an attorney will be a good fit for them.

Sites that provide legal advice or help might do so in a variety of ways. Some websites offer a membership that lets members contact select attorneys to receive free legal advice from. Some sites also have public forums or features that allow a user to ask an attorney a question. These services are limited to more basic questions and services.

Many sites that cater to business owners offer very little legal advice. Instead, they simply help entrepreneurs file the necessary documents to incorporate their businesses or maintain legal compliance with the local, state and federal agencies.

Sites that only serve as directories are similar to an online phonebook. They provide consumers with local attorneys contact information, but they do not screen the law firms or offer consumers any guidance about whether a particular lawyer/firm is suitable for their needs.

Entrepreneurs and business owners should have a lawyer or legal consultant to help them make sure their business is complying with all local, state and federal laws. They will also want documents in place that protect them from personal liability.

Those without a significant other who is recognized by law and/or without children should make sure they have an advanced healthcare directive and a will in place so that their wishes are known if they are persistently unconscious or pass away.

Parents should make sure that they a will that protects their assets for their children. If their children are under 18 then they should also specify who they wish to care for their children in the event of their own death.

Individuals who have amassed a large number of possessions or investment accounts during the course of their lives should make sure they have a clear will so their possessions and money go to their desired beneficiary. They should also have an advanced healthcare directive so their caretakers know their wishes if they cannot care for themselves.

Individuals who rent an apartment or home may wish to have an attorney review their lease before signing it. They can consult the same attorney if any disputes arise with their landlords.

Anyone named as a plaintiff in a lawsuit should obtain legal counsel or consult with an attorney to make sure their interests are appropriately represented.

Anyone who has been charged with a crime should seek legal representation.

LegalShield provides legal services to subscribers. The company operates similar to an insurance company; members pay a monthly fee and then have access to legal services from a select group of providers. The company was founded in 1972 and is headquartered in Ada, Okla.

Online platform Rocket Lawyer helps consumers create legal documents and/or find an attorney. Consumers can sign up for a monthly membership or purchase some services on an a la carte basis. The company was founded in 2008, is headquartered in California and has technical and financial backing from tech giants like Google.

LegalZoom was established in 2001 as way to use the Internet to give more people access to legal help. The company lets customers create legal documents or have short consultations with lawyers. They offer services for both individuals and businesses.

LegalMatch is a website that lets individuals submit the details of their case to all qualified LegalMatch attorneys. When an attorney indicates theyre interested in the case, LegalMatch sends the attorneys information and other users reviews to the client. launched in 2000, and since then 3 million cases have been posted on the site. It helps individuals and business owners in all 50 states find legal representation.

: Because LegalMatch sends attorneys information to potential clients, they can take as much time as they need to decide between their options. They will know the lawyers fees, and the clients will only be given information for attorneys who are willing to take their case.

: LegalMatch hosts legal forums where consumers can post their legal questions and concerns. Other users, including some attorneys, respond to offer advice and support.

: LegalMatchs website has a blog and a law library section where readers can learn about legal topics and definitions as well as read news related to legal cases.

: LegalMatch screens all the attorneys they match with potential clients. They confirm that all lawyers are licensed, in good standing with their states bar association and have professional references.

: In addition to screening lawyers who wish to participate in their service, LegalMatch monitors providers activity level and response time. Only members who remain active and respond to potential clients quickly are allowed to remain as LegalMatch providers.

LegalMatch caters to those who want to hire an attorney and need help selecting the best attorney for their needs.

: Consumers with simple questions can use the websites forum to get an answer from an attorney in their state. They can also browse other consumers questions and the answers they received.

: All law firms listed on Lawyers.coms directory have a peer-rating that indicates the degree to which an attorney or legal firm is respected by other legal professionals. Many lawyers/legal firms also have a client satisfaction rating, and potential clients can read other clients reviews.

: Those who want to learn more about a legal issue theyre facing can use the free resources on Lawyers.com. Their informational articles cover an extensive range of topics, and each article also shows law firms in the consumers area who handle the legal issue that the article discusses.

: Lawyers.com lets users search for an attorney by selecting their legal issue, and then the site helps consumers narrow the results to find the best attorney for their situation.

: Potential clients can learn about a lawyer/law firm by clicking on the firms name in the Lawyers.com directory. The profile provides information about the firm, including whether they offer free consultations.

Lawyers.com is best for individuals and business owners who are ready to select an attorney to handle their legal needs.

BizFilings helps small business owners form corporations, limited-liability corporations (LLCs), nonprofits, limited partnerships (LPs) and more. They also help small business owners file other paperwork to manage and grow their businesses. The company was established in 1996 and is headquartered in Madison, Wis.

: When interested customers are ready to start their business, they can select the BizFiling package that is best for them. The website has side-by-side comparisons of different plans that clearly state the price and services included. All taxes and fees are included in these prices.

: BizFilings website includes an instant chat feature for interested customers to get help without picking up the phone or waiting for an email response.

: Business owners and entrepreneurs who arent sure what kind of corporation or partnership they should form can read about all their options on BizFilings website. The companys Incorporation Specialists can also help them select and understand their best option.

: BizFiling regularly has special offers and discounts. All offers are listed on their website.

: BizFilings is active on social media, so business owners can follow them on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to see news stories that will be of special interest to them.

BizFilings caters to entrepreneurs who want to start or manage a business.

: m gives its customers a $50,000 Corporate Veil Guarantee®. If an owner is found personally liable, the company will reimburse up to $50,000 in legal defense fees.

: Business owners can purchase a wide variety of services from incorporate.com to make sure their businesses meet all legal requirements. Those who use the companys Registered Agent Service receive a free Compliance Watch package, which is an online package for keeping track of compliance dates and documents.

: The Learning Center section of incorporated,coms website has a library of informational articles to help entrepreneurs and business owners learn about establishing their business, protect themselves legally, writing bylaws and more.

: incorporate.coms Business Coaching service assists business owners with remaining compliant by helping them properly document their business actions.

: All consumers can visit the companys website to watch their free webinars on growing a business. Webinar topics include using social media, choosing a domain name, financial planning and more.

incorporate.com caters to business owners who want help with incorporating their business and remaining compliant after they do so.

MyCorporation provides online document filing services for entrepreneurs to form businesses and business owners to maintain them. The company was founded in 1997 and is headquartered in California.

: Interested consumers can receive a free telephone consultation from a MyCorporation representative. The representative can help entrepreneurs identify their goals and determine necessary steps to achieve those goals.

: MyCorporation had trademark and copyright services to help individuals file the necessary paperwork to protect their business name and intellectual property.

: MyCorporation has a section of their website devoted to helping business owners understand the paperwork and filing requirements associated with owning a business. The company also publishes a blog.

: Business owners and entrepreneurs can follow MyCorporation on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to learn more about the company and receive tips on maintaining their business.

: Those starting a business can visit MyCorporations website to search for the business name that they are considering. Consumers can search for free and then pay to have MyCorporation reserve the name they want if it is available.

MyCorporation is best for entrepreneurs who want to incorporate their business and/or file trademark or copyright documents.

More resources about legal services from ConsumerAffairs

Your power of attorney.What to know about your power of attorney

Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.

incorporate.com was founded as Corporation Service Company in Delaware in 1899. The company now operates in all 50 states and Washington DC. They help individuals establish and maintain several types of corporations.

Lawyers.com is a free service provided by Martindale-Hubbell that helps potential clients find a lawyer to help them with their specific case. The site has a directory of more than 1 million law firms in 160 countries.

LegalMatch is a free service that matches potential clients to attorneys. People submit the details of their case and receive responses from qualified lawyers willing to take those cases. The service is available in all 50 states.

MyCorporation has been in business for more than 20 years and worked with more than 1 million businesses. They help entrepreneurs and business owners create and file the necessary paperwork to become incorporated.

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