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Real estate brokers and lawyers have been engaged in a longstanding "boundary dispute" over which activities brokers can perform in real estate transactions without engaging in unauthorized practices of law. In general, state court decisions have lacked uniformity and no universal standard has emerged for making unauthorized practice of law determinations, some broker activities have been found to be clearly unauthorized practices while others have not surfaced as issues in these cases. This paper examines the manner in which courts have resolved jurisdictional disputes between licensed lawyers and licensed real estate brokers and considers whether the precedents established have tended to promote or impede the efficiency of exchange in the market.


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© Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Final version published as: Corgel, J. (1987). Occupational boundary setting and the unauthorized practice of law by real estate brokers. In A. J. Jaffe (Ed.), & R. O. Zerbe, Jr. (Series Ed.), Research in Law and Economics: Vol. 10. The economics of urban property rights (pp. 161-175). Greenwich, CT: Jai Press. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.