Committee on Multidisciplinary Practice Report and Recommendations - June 13, 2000 - Center for Professional Responsibility

Committee on Multidisciplinary Practice
Report and Recommendations

June 13, 2000

 The Kentucky Bar Association Committee on Multidisciplinary Practice ("MDP") was created in October, 1999. Members are: Joe C. Savage, Chair; Richard H. C. Clay; Robert I. Cusick, Jr.; Del L. O’Roark, Jr.; Richard Weherle; David Yewell; Marcia Ridings; Barbara Rea; and Bruce Davis.

The Committee met on several occasions in 1999 and 2000. The last and final meeting was on June 9, 2000. At that meeting, the Committee voted unanimously to recommend to the KBA Board of Governors to oppose MDP in any form, to oppose any rule changes designed to allow MDP and to strengthen and broaden KBA enforcement of rules prohibiting the unauthorized practice of law and the sharing of fees with non-lawyers.

The Committee examined numerous ABA materials on MDP, including the August, 1999, Report to the House of Delegates by the ABA Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice. The Committee also examined reports from bar associations of other states, including New York and New Jersey.

In voting to recommend to the KBA Board of Governors that it totally reject MDP, the Committee strongly felt that MDP would significantly erode, if not ultimately destroy, the independence of lawyers. This independence is of fundamental importance in preserving a free, democratic society.

The Committee also strongly felt that MDP would create substantial, insurmountable problems in the areas of client confidentiality, attorney-client privilege, conflicts of interest, disclosure obligations, and work product. No amount of rule changes no matter how skillfully drafted could resolve these issues.

Lastly, the Committee strongly believed that MDP exists in fact, if not in recognition. The KBA should take all appropriate steps to strengthen enforcement to stop the unauthorized practice of law and the sharing of fees with non-lawyers. If the KBA, and ultimately the Kentucky Supreme Court, do not stop the spread of MDP now, the legal profession, the legal system, and ultimately our democracy will suffer irreparable harm.

Joe C. Savage, Chairperson
KBA Committee on MDP

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