The State Bar is beefing up its efforts to clamp down on people who practice law without a license.

The Wisconsin Bar Association simply wants to protect the consumer from non-lawyers who give bad legal advice. So says the group's President Tom Basting, who is petitioning the State Supreme Court to adopt a clear definition of "the practice of law."

The State Bar, several years ago, had asked the Supreme Court to create a commission to study the problem, and to come up with a way to prohibit certain people from practicing law when they are not licensed to do so.

Leading up to the scheduled December hearing at the state Supreme Court, Basting is trying to clarify and seek support for their petition. He says the goal is to protect consumers, not create more work for lawyers. With that in mind, he doesn't know of any opposition to the idea.

Basting wants the High Court to adopt a new rule clearly defining what constitutes the "practice of law," and to create an efficient administrative system to enforce the new rule. About half the states have a similar definition of the practice of law.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (1:53 MP3)

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