Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga on Tuesday ordered the appointment of a referee in a dispute between The Florida Bar and a Miami-Dade County firm that helps motorists fight traffic tickets.
The dispute stems from allegations that TIKD Services LLC violated a ban on practicing law without a license – allegations that the firm denies.
The Bar in January filed a petition requesting that the Supreme Court issue an injunction against TIKD.
But Labarga on Tuesday designated Bertila Soto, chief judge of the 11th Judicial Circuit, which includes Miami-Dade, to appoint a referee in the case.
The referee ultimately will hold a hearing and submit findings and recommendations to the Supreme Court.
TIKD, which was created in 2016, operates an online service in which motorists can upload pictures of tickets, according to court documents.
TIKD performs a statistical analysis after receiving tickets and determines whether to provide its services to motorists.
If it accepts a ticket, TIKD charges a fee and pays an attorney to represent the motorist. TIKD also pays fines or court costs if tickets are not dismissed, the documents said.
TIKD contends it does not provide legal services, but the Bar has alleged that the firm engages in the practice of law “by offering to provide legal services.”