Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Legal Professional Regulatory Landscape: Change & Innovation (in the US and Canada)



Via the Legal Ethics Forum:"ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services Proposes Model Regulatory Objectives" --
  • "The ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services has released this draft resolution and report, which proposes the creation of ABA Model Regulatory Objectives.  The Commission’s cover memo offers the following explanation:
    • As one part of its work, the Commission is seeking comments on a draft resolution and report, which recommends that each state’s highest court, and those of each territory and tribe, use clearly identified regulatory objectives to help (1) assess the court’s existing regulatory framework and (2) identify and implement regulatory innovations related to legal services beyond the traditional regulation of the legal profession. The ABA Model Regulatory Objectives are intended to advance these important goals.
    • The Commission’s final resolution and report will be submitted for consideration by the House of Delegates at the 2016 Midyear Meeting. The comment deadline is October 30.
  • The Commission is also studying other regulatory issues and may propose additional resolutions in 2016.
  • The Commission was established in 2014 by then-ABA President William Hubbard.  Its mandate is to examine how legal services are delivered today and recommend new approaches that “improve the delivery of, and the public’s access to, those services.”  (Disclosure: I am the Commission’s vice chair.)
And from Malcom Mercer comes: "Innovate or be innovated" --
  • "When the Chief Justice of Canada highlights global liberalization of legal services regulation, recognizes that our old monopolies are fading, says that the legal profession must embrace new ways of doing business and that the question is not whether our rules should be liberalized but how, even those most resistant to change must take heed."
  • "On August 14, 2015, Chief Justice McLachlin addressed the Canadian Bar Association annual plenary in Calgary . In her remarks entitled The Legal Profession in the 21st Century, the Chief Justice suggested that the legal profession must ask itself three questions:"
    • First, where does the profession stand as it enters the second quarter of the 21st century?
    • Second, what are the forces that have led to the challenges the profession is facing?
    • Third, against this background, how can the profession move towards the newer world it seeks?

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