Coffman v. WilliamsonAnnotate this Case
Morgan Drexen was described as a "legal software and legal software development company" owned and operated by nonlawyers but provided paraprofessional and administrative support to attorneys. The company provided debt-management services nationwide in conjunction with contracting attorneys, known as "engagement counsel." Morgan Drexen referred to engagement counsel as its "clients" and paid them a minimal fee that passed through the engagement counsel's (or engagement law firm's) trust accounts. Parties Donald Moore and Lawrence Williamson, Jr. served as engagement counsel. Moore was a Colorado-licensed attorney, and Williamson was a Kansas attorney who represented Colorado clients by association with Moore. In 2011, Morgan Drexen applied in Colorado to be registered as a debt-management service provider under the Debt Management Services Act (DMSA). The DMSA Administrator denied the application and issued a cease-and-desist order instructing Morgan Drexen to stop providing its services to Colorado residents and collecting fees. Morgan Drexen, Moore and Williamson filed a complaint seeking a declaration that :(1) they did not provide debt-management services under the original DMSA; and (2) the amended DMSA was unconstitutional. In its review of Morgan Drexen's appeal, the Supreme Court determined the trial court erred in concluding that Morgan Drexen's services fell within the scope of the legal services exemption in the original DMSA. Further, the amended DMSA was constitutional. The Supreme Court reversed the trial court's order and remanded the case for further proceedings.