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Update. Lawline v. ABA revisited. Multidisciplinary Practice :
See also: New York County Lawyers Association resolution .

On August 10,1999 the ABA House of Delegates, by a vote of 304-98, defeated an official ABA commission recommendation to change ethics rule 5.4 . The recommended rule change, according to the FTC and the official ABA commission, would have made it easier for young lawyers, legal aid advocates and big business, such as big eight accounting firms, to develop non-traditional law firms and reduce the cost of legal services.

A similar proposal was made by the ABA official rules committee in 1984 , and rejected by the the ABA House of Delegates, because it would likely reduce lawyer income as a result of increased competition .

Civil War - ABA ethics experts and the FTC v. Practicing lawyers from small firms in the HOD:
For over 15 years the FTC , law professors and ethics experts on the official ABA Rules Committee have advised the ABA House of Delegate members that the current rule is a violation of the United States Antitrust and Civil Rights laws.

The ethics rule in question was originally challenged in 1976 , when the United States Justice Department , during the Carter Administration, brought an antitrust suit against the ABA. This suit was eventually dismissed, as a professional courtesy, when the ABA promised to amend their rules. How long does it take?

If the practice of law is to remain a profession , instead of a business, it is time for the ABA House of Delegates to place the public interest first and their financial interest second .

Otherwise, one of the big eight accounting firms will simply ignore this outdated rule and intentionally create a fact situation that will result in an embarrassing antitrust suit for the entire legal profession.

The ABA House of Delegates must balance the public interest and their competing financial interest in a less transparent and self serving manner than they did at the recent ABA HOD meeting.

Tell us what you think.To vote now , .

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