The ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 has released a discussion draft of a possible proposal to amend Model Rule 5.4, which, if adopted, would allow for very limited forms of nonlawyer ownership in law firms. The Commission is seeking feedback in order to determine whether it should make such a proposal. The proposal can be found here.
The Commission encourages responses by late January 2011, so that they can be discussed at the Commission's February 2-3, 2012 meeting, and further asks that those requiring additional time submit comments by February 29, 2012. Comments should be submitted to Senior Research Paralegal, Natalia Vera, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more on the story go to the Legal Ethics Forum and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog.
Some time ago, I posted a note about a bill in North Carolina on the same issue with a link to a comment that concluded this is a lousy idea (here).