Though I started with the best of intentions to track the activities of the ABA Commission on Ethics 2020, I’ve been having some trouble keeping up with the Commission’s relentless pace. This month brings another barrage of proposals on Outsourcing, Client Confidentiality and Technology and Technology and Lawyer Marketing, and Attorney Admissions.
I’ve already provided extensive coverage, including comments and a powerpoint presentation on the the technology-related rules. Meanwhile, my friend and colleague Lisa Solomon has been offering detailed and ongoing analysis of proposed changes to the ABA’s outsourcing rules. Now, I’ve finally had a chance to review the Commission’s proposed changes to the Model Rule on Admissions (here) Model Rule 5.5 (here). As my comments below discuss, the proposed changes are a step in the right direction in that they relax admissions requirements. However, the rules don’t go far enough in alleviating lawyers of the onerous costs and compliance burden of gaining admission in another jurisdiction where they don’t plan to represent clients, but where their place of work is physically located. In addition, the proposed rules, presumably inadvertently, omit freelance and document review lawyers from the group of lawyers who may benefit from reduced eligibility requirements for seeking admission in another jurisdiction.
In any event, my comments are embedded below. Whether you agree with my approach or not, please take the time to provide your own input to the ABA Commission on Ethics 2020 to ensure that your voice is heard and that the rules that will govern lawyers into the 21st century reflect the interests and needs of solo and small firm lawyers.