Sunday, February 16, 2020

ABA Amends Proposal on Access to Justice and Regulation of the Profession in Reaction to Opposition

Last week I reported on the opposition to a proposal by the the ABA’s Center for Innovation and four standing committees seeking to advance the discussion of proposals that would open the provision of legal services to non-lawyers. Go here for that post, which includes the text of a letter expressing opposition to the proposal.

Today I am writing again about this because Bloomberg Law is reporting that the resolution has been amended a second time "in order to gain support from state bar leaders aligned against the proposal." 

According to the report, the proposal was criticized as a "wink, a nod, and a green light” for the ABA to back the proposed reforms that would allow nonlawyers more latitude in co-owning legal operations which is opposed by lawyers concerned about preserving the independence of the legal profession, and in particular about protecting the profession from "side effects" of allowing the so-called "Big Four" accounting firms and other alternative legal service providers more regulatory latitude to compete directly with law firms. Bar rules currently disallow such companies from opening their own legal operations, or from joining forces with existing law firms.

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