The Arkansas Supreme Court recently dismissed a case against an out-of-state debt collection
law firm, ruling that the state's Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) has no application to the practice of law by attorneys, Legal Newsline reports.
Bennett and DeLoney, PC, a Utah-based debt collection law firm, was originally sued by Arkansas attorney general Dustin McDaniel in April 2008 for violating the DTPA by collecting fees on dishonored checks in excess of what is allowed under Arkansas law. The state sought an injunction, restitution and the imposition of civil penalties for each violation of the DTPA, as well as other costs and fees. The firm appealed the decision, countering that the act wasn't applicable to the legal services it provided, insideArm explains. Supreme Court Justice Paul E. Danielson agreed, dismissing the case and finding that the DTPA doesn't apply to attorney's practicing law. "Because the firm and its attorneys were attorneys engaged in the practice of law at the time of the alleged acts, the ADTPA had no applicability to their actions under our decisions," the Justice wrote, as quoted by Legal Newsline.