Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why did I get a Notice?
  2. What is this lawsuit about?
  3. Why is this a class action?
  4. Why is there a settlement?
  5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?
  6. Are there exceptions to being included?
  7. What does the Settlement provide?
  8. How can I get free enrollment in the Legal Advantage Plus or Business Advantage Pro program or, if eligible, a payment?
  9. When would I get my free enrollment or, if eligible, a payment?
  10. What am I giving up to get free enrollment or, if eligible, a payment, or to stay in the Class?
  11. How do I get out of the Settlement?
  12. Do I have a lawyer in this case?
  13. How do I tell the Court that I like, or don’t like, the Settlement?
  14. What is the difference between commenting on and excluding?
  15. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?
  16. Do I have to come to the hearing?
  17. Are there more details about the Settlement?
  18. How do I get more information?
  19. I am a Class Member in Webster v. Legalzoom.com, Inc. If I move, or my contact information changes, how do I notify the Settlement Administrator of my updated information?



1. Why did I get a Notice?

The Parties have settled this class action lawsuit. You may be a member of the Class. If you are a member of the Class, your legal rights will be affected. The Notice, which has been approved by the Court, is only a summary. A more detailed document called the “Class Action Settlement Agreement” (the “Settlement Agreement”) contains the complete terms of the Settlement. It is on file with the Court, where it is available for your review, and is also available on this website here.

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2. What is this lawsuit about?

This lawsuit was filed in 2010 in Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of a nationwide class of persons who purchased a legal document or legal document assistant service from LegalZoom. The lawsuit is against LegalZoom and claims that LegalZoom’s website and advertising contain statements that are misleading and over-promise what LegalZoom will deliver to its customers including the unauthorized practice of law. It also claims that LegalZoom failed to comply with the following: the California Legal Document Assistant Act; California’s Consumers Legal Remedies Act; the California Unfair Competition Law; California Welfare and Institutions Code § 15610.30; and the common law.

THERE ARE NO CLAIMS OR ASSERTIONS IN THIS CASE ABOUT THE VALIDITY OF ANY LEGALZOOM DOCUMENT OR SERVICE.

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3. Why is this a class action?

In a class action, one or more people, called Class Representatives, sue on behalf of all people that have similar claims. All of these people are a Class or Class Members. One court resolves the issues for all Class Members, except for those who excluded themselves from the Class.

In this lawsuit, the Court has designated Plaintiff Katherine Webster as the Class Representative. The Arns Law Firm and Stebner and Associates are the attorneys for the Class and are called “Class Counsel.” Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William Highberger is in charge of this class action.

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4. Why is there a settlement?

The Class Representative and Class Counsel reached this Settlement through negotiations with LegalZoom and its counsel after weighing the benefits and risks compared with those of continuing the litigation. The factors that the Class Representative and Class Counsel considered included the uncertainty and delay associated with continued litigation, trial and appeals, and the uncertainty of particular legal issues that have yet to be determined. The Class Representative and Class Counsel balanced these and other risks when deciding that the Settlement is fair, reasonable and adequate in light of all circumstances and in the best interests of Class Members.

LegalZoom has denied and continues to deny each of the claims made in the lawsuit and that it has done anything wrong. LegalZoom has asserted and continues to assert many defenses to the lawsuit, but has decided to settle the lawsuit to avoid the time and expense of litigation.

The Court has not ruled on any of the claims or defenses in the lawsuit. The Notice does NOT represent an opinion by the Court about the merits of any claim or defense.

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5. How do I know if I am part of the Settlement?

You are Class Member if you purchased a legal document or legal document assistant service from LegalZoom from 9/15/2005 through 6/16/2011. If you meet the above conditions, you are automatically a Class Member. Class Members can get the benefits of the Settlement, and will be bound by the Settlement, as approved by the Court. Persons who excluded themselves from the Class will not be bound by the Settlement and will not receive Economic Benefits from the Settlement.

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6. Are there exceptions to being included?

The following categories of individuals are excluded from the Class:

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7. What does the Settlement provide?

The Settlement was negotiated with LegalZoom by Class Counsel. The Class Representative and Class Counsel believe that this Settlement is in the best interests of Class Members. As part of the Settlement, LegalZoom and Class Counsel have agreed to the following:

Economic Benefits

Free Enrollment in Legal Advantage Plus Program or Business Advantage Pro Program: Class Members who submitted a valid claim are able to get sixty (60) days of free enrollment in LegalZoom’s Legal Advantage Plus program (for individuals) or the Business Advantage Pro program (for businesses). The Programs include the following benefits for Class Members:

  1. Telephone consultations with a participating law firm of up to one half (1/2) hour for each new legal matter. (For example, a Class Member could receive a one half (1/2) hour consultation concerning the Class Member’s living trust, a one half (1/2) hour consultation concerning the Class Member’s durable power of attorney, and a one half (1/2) hour consultation concerning articles of incorporation.)
  2. Review by the participating law firm of a Class Member’s legal documents of up to ten (10) pages. Review is limited to one (1) document for each new legal matter, including one (1) telephone consultation with the participating law firm about the reviewed document and a written summary of the consultation prepared by the participating law firm. Review is not limited to documents prepared using LegalZoom. During the sixty (60) day free enrollment period, there is no page limitation for review of documents prepared by Class Members using LegalZoom. For example, if you prepared a 20-page living trust using LegalZoom, you will be eligible to receive an attorney review of that document and consultation.
  3. An annual legal check-up from a participating law firm, consisting of a one-hour telephone consultation to discuss the Class Member’s legal portfolio, potential updates, and recommendations. The annual legal check up also includes a written summary of the consultation and any recommendations to the Class Member’s legal documents or strategies. The annual legal check-up shall be available to Class Members once during their sixty (60) free days of enrollment in the Legal Advantage Plus or Business Advantage Pro program, but only once in any twelve month period.
  4. A 10% discount on all LegalZoom products (excluding filing fees and third-party fees).
  5. Access to the LegalZoom form library.
  6. Electronic document storage, including secure vault storage of a copy of last will (if applicable) for so long as the Class Member is enrolled in a Program.
  7. A 25% discount on attorney fees for additional legal work not included under the Legal Advantage Plus or Business Advantage Pro program but undertaken by a participating law firm.

Your participation in the Legal Advantage Plus or Business Advantage Pro program is subject to LegalZoom’s Supplemental Terms of Service for Legal Plans, except as modified above. You can review these terms at http://www.legalzoom.com/subscription-terms-of-service.html. The benefits described above will remain available to Class Members during their period of free enrollment even if the Supplemental Terms of Service for Legal Plans are changed.

In the event the Legal Advantage Plus and Business Advantage Pro programs are not available in your state: LegalZoom will have twelve (12) months to make the Programs available in your state. If LegalZoom is unable to make the Programs available in your state within twelve (12) months, and you previously submitted a valid claim for free enrollment in the Programs, LegalZoom will give you a cash payment. You will be eligible to get the lesser of:

  1. $75.00; or
  2. 50% of the current base price of the document you obtained from LegalZoom, or if the document has been discontinued, 50% of the base price of the document at the time it was discontinued (excluding any sums charged by third parties for filing fees, taxes or other costs incurred in the preparation and filing of the document).

Payments made under this paragraph will be capped at $150,000. If claims under this paragraph exceed $150,000, the amount per claimant will be reduced proportionately. LegalZoom will retain all rights to any unclaimed funds.

Alternative for People Who Previously Asked for, But Did Not Receive, a Refund from LegalZoom: You had the option to get cash instead of the sixty (60) days of free enrollment in the Legal Advantage Plus or Business Advantage Pro program described above. You could claim this cash benefit, if you previously asked for but did not receive, a refund from LegalZoom for the purchase price of the legal document you prepared using LegalZoom, and had not already successfully used the document for its intended purpose. If you chose this option, you must have submitted a valid claim and returned the document you prepared using LegalZoom; the document will be destroyed. You will be able to receive the lesser of:

  1. $100; or
  2. The current base price of the document you prepared using LegalZoom, or if the document has been discontinued, the base price of the document at the time it was discontinued (excluding any sums charged by third parties for filing fees, taxes or other costs incurred in the preparation and filing of the document).

Payments made under this paragraph will be capped at $250,000. If claims under this paragraph exceed $250,000, the amount per claimant will be reduced proportionately. LegalZoom will retain all rights to any unclaimed funds.

Business Practices Changes

As described more fully in the Settlement Agreement, LegalZoom must implement certain business practices within sixty (60) days of the date on which the Settlement becomes final. These business practices, which will remain in effect for up to eighteen (18) months, include the following:

If the Settlement does not become final, LegalZoom will NOT be required to implement any of these business practice changes.

Fees and Costs

LegalZoom has agreed to pay all costs of notice and settlement administration. In addition, from the beginning of the lawsuit to the present, Class Counsel has not received any payment for services in prosecuting the lawsuit, nor has Class Counsel been reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses. Class Counsel applied for an award of attorneys’ fees and costs in an amount not to exceed $2.2 million. LegalZoom has agreed to pay up to that amount, subject to Court approval. Under no circumstance will Class Members be required to pay any attorneys’ fees and costs of Class Counsel or the Settlement Administrator. The attorneys’ fees and costs were not negotiated until all of the class claims were resolved. The attorneys’ fees and costs will be paid separately from, and will not reduce, the benefits provided to Class Members under the Settlement.

Payment to Class Representative

Class Counsel asked the Court to award a service award of up to $7,000 to the Class Representative. This is for her efforts in pursuing the lawsuit on behalf of the Class. LegalZoom has agreed to pay up to that amount. This service award will be in addition to any other benefits which the Class Representative may be entitled to receive as a Class Member.

Release

The Settlement is intended to settle all claims covered by the Release in the Settlement Agreement. This includes, but is not limited to, all claims (known or unknown) of Class Members in connection with or that arise out of or relate in any manner whatsoever, in whole or in part, to this lawsuit, the subject matter of this lawsuit, the claims alleged, asserted or otherwise referred to in this lawsuit or the Settlement Agreement, any and all claims asserted or that could have been asserted in the lawsuit arising out of the LegalZoom.com website, any materials available on or through the LegalZoom.com website, any disclosures or alleged nondisclosures regarding LegalZoom (including in LegalZoom’s marketing or advertising or by LegalZoom personnel), LegalZoom’s customer service, the unauthorized practice of law (subject to the limitation set forth in the following paragraph), or the purchase or use of documents prepared using LegalZoom, the terms or administration of the Settlement Agreement, or any communications, representations, statements, or omissions to Class Members with respect to any of the foregoing.

The release does not include any non-monetary claims for provisional or permanent injunctive relief based on the unauthorized practice of law brought by a non-customer public or quasi-public entity, including government or quasi-government entities and state or local bar associations. It does not include the specific claims alleged by members of the certified class in Janson, et al. v. LegalZoom.com, Inc., United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri case no. 2:10-CV-04018-NKL, under Missouri Revised Statutes 484.010, 484.020 and 407.020 and for money had and received.

The Settlement releases claims against LegalZoom.com, Inc., and also claims against any of its past, present, and future parents, affiliates, subsidiaries, divisions, predecessors, successors, and assigns, and each of their respective officers, directors, trustees, shareholders, employees, agents, attorneys, auditors, advertising agencies, accountants, experts, contractors, stockholders, representatives, partners, insurers, reinsurers, and other persons acting on their behalf.

You may refer to the Settlement Agreement for a full description of the Release.

If you did NOT exclude yourself from the Class by following the procedures set forth in the Notice, you will be considered to have entered into the Release in the Settlement Agreement, whether or not you receive any economic benefits as described above.

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8. How can I get free enrollment in the Legal Advantage Plus or Business Advantage Pro program or, if eligible, a payment?

The deadline to submit a claim form was May 15, 2012

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9. When would I get my free enrollment or, if eligible, a payment?

Though the Court approved the Settlement in April 2012, appeals were filed. Settlement benefits will be distributed once the appeals are resolved. Please be patient. For an update on the status of the Settlement, you may call toll free, 1-888-928-8088, or visit this website.

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10. What am I giving up to get free enrollment or, if eligible, a payment, or to stay in the Class?

In order to get the economic benefits detailed above, you must have stayed in the Class and submitted a valid claim form. By staying in the Class, you will not be able to sue or be part of any other lawsuit against LegalZoom about the legal issues in this case. In addition, all of the Court’s orders will apply to you and legally bind you. This means, for instance, that since the Court has approved the Settlement, you are considered to have entered into the Release in the Settlement Agreement.

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11. How do I get out of the Settlement?

In order to exclude yourself from the Class, you must have sent a letter requesting exclusion no later than March 1, 2012. If you excluded yourself from the Class, you will lose any right to participate in the Settlement. You will not get any of the economic benefits from the Settlement. You will also lose the right to have the Court consider your comments before it rules on the Settlement. You will be free to pursue any claims you may have against LegalZoom on your own behalf, but Class Counsel will not have an obligation to represent you.

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12. Do I have a lawyer in this case?

The Arns Law Firm and the firm of Stebner and Associates represent you and other Class Members. These lawyers are called Class Counsel. You will not be charged for these lawyers. If you do not wish to be represented by Class Counsel, you may hire your own attorney. Your attorney must have filed a Notice of Appearance no later than March 1, 2012. Even though your own attorney represents you, you will continue to be a Class Member. If you retained your own attorney, you will be responsible for any attorneys’ fees and costs charged by that attorney.

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13. How do I tell the Court that I like, or don’t like, the Settlement?

Comments must have been mailed to the Clerk of the Court and to the Settlement Administrator so that they were received no later than March 1, 2012.

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14. What is the difference between commenting on and excluding?

Commenting is simply telling the Court that you like, or do not like, something about the Settlement. You could comment only if you stayed in the Class. Excluding is telling the Court that you do not want to be a part of the Class. If you excluded yourself, you have no basis to comment because the case no longer affects you.

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15. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the Settlement?

On April 5, 2012 at 1:30 p.m., a hearing was held before the Honorable William F. Highberger, Judge of the Superior Court, in Courtroom 307, Central Civil West Courthouse, Los Angeles County Superior Court, 600 South Commonwealth Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90005 (the “Fairness Hearing”). The purpose of the Fairness Hearing was for the Court to decide: (a) whether the Class was properly certified; (b) whether the Settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and should be approved; (c) whether to approve Class Counsel’s application for attorneys’ fees and expenses; (d) whether to approve the application for a service award for the Class Representative; and (e) whether the lawsuit should be dismissed with prejudice.

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16. Do I have to come to the hearing?

The Court granted final approval of the Settlement after a Fairness Hearing held on April 5, 2012.

Class Members who supported the Settlement did not need to appear at the hearing and did not need to take any other action to indicate their approval. Class Members who opposed the proposed Settlement also were not required to attend the Fairness Hearing.

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17. Are there more details about the Settlement?

The Notice is only a summary and does not describe all details of the Settlement. For full details of the Settlement, you may wish to review the Settlement Agreement. It is on file with the Court and can be looked over at any time during regular business hours at the Clerk’s Office, Los Angeles Superior Court, 600 South Commonwealth Avenue, Los Angeles, California, 90005. You may also review the pleadings, records and other papers in this lawsuit at the Clerk’s Office.

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18. How do I get more information?

You can get more information by calling toll free 1 (888) 928-8088, by sending an e-mail to Class Counsel at LDALitigation@arnslaw.com, or by writing to Class Counsel at The Arns Law Firm, 515 Folsom Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105, Attn: LDA Litigation Questions.

PLEASE DO NOT WRITE OR TELEPHONE THE COURT, LEGALZOOM, OR ANY OF THEIR AGENTS, FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE SETTLEMENT OR THIS LAWSUIT.

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19. I am a Class Member in Webster v. Legalzoom.com, Inc. If I move, or my contact information changes, how do I notify the Settlement Administrator of my updated information?

If you move or your contact information changes, please notify the Settlement Administrator at your earliest convenience, in writing either by email at SettlementAdministrator@LDALitigation.com, or postal mail at the following address. Address changes cannot be made by telephone. Please include your Claim Number and Control Number in your correspondence

Webster v. LegalZoom Settlement Administrator
c/o The Garden City Group, Inc.
P.O. Box 9764
Dublin, OH 43017-5663
Email: SettlementAdministrator@LDALitigation.com

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Important Dates
DateDeadline
May 15, 2012
[Expired]
Claim Form Deadline
(received)
March 1, 2012
[Expired]
Exclusion Deadline
(received)
March 1, 2012
[Expired]
Comment Deadline
(filed and received)
April 5, 2012
[Approved]
Fairness Hearing

Your Options

  • To find out details regarding the Settlement, please consult the Notice