Professional Responsibility Column: Rethinking Lawyer Regulation the "California Way"

September 10, 2019

In his most recent Professional Responsibility column in the New York Law Journal, Hinshaw's Anthony Davis describes the recently published State Bar Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services Report, published by a 23-member task force established by the California State Bar Board of Trustees. This remarkable report makes a series of lawyer regulatory reform proposals, which in essence recommend the adoption of multidisciplinary practices that include fee sharing with nonlawyers, nonlawyer investment in or ownership of law firms, and eliminate all or some of the existing prohibitions on such arrangements.

Why should lawyers outside of California care about these proposals? Because they mean the cat is out of the bag in terms of opening public discussion on a large scale of the shortcomings of the current regulatory system in every state, and the potential benefits for the public of sweeping reform that would focus on regulating legal services not lawyers. Sitting on the beach like English King Canute telling the tide to turn simply will not work with the advent of the myriad of AI-driven legal services already in use or currently in development.

Read the full article (PDF)

You can also read "Rethinking Lawyer Regulation: The California Way," published by the New York Law Journal August 30, 2019, on the NYLJ website (subscription may be required)

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