Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Law Firm Rules & Regulations (News & Fighting)

  • ABA and European Law Societies Fight New Efforts to Regulate Legal Industry -- Stemming from the debt crisis, new attempts at external law firm regulation threaten " of the core principles of the legal profession: regulation independent from the executive branch of the state," the industry argues, noting that a "guarantee of independence" is "fundamental to the profession."
  • Washington DC ethics opinion 361 allows referrals to non-lawyer service providers -- “…such as a financial services firm may accept compensation from the provider for the referral so long as the criteria of Rule 1.7(c) and, if applicable, Rules 1.8(a) and 5.7 are satisfied. Those criteria are exacting, however, and the arrangement may be beyond the lawyer’s malpractice coverage even if permitted by the Rules.”
  • Utah Bar Says Using Student's Lexis/Westlaw Access for Firm Work is Unethical -- "The Utah Legal Ethics Advisory Committee considered whether an attorney who encouraged a student to breach her agreement by doing firm-related research had committed an ethical violation. The Committee answered in the affirmative finding that an attorney's misuse of a student's educational Wexis access is theft of services, a potential felony."

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