Model Rule 5.7

Reporter's Explanation of Changes

 TEXT:

Paragraph (a)(2): Broaden to apply to all circumstances not covered by paragraph (a)(1) and to all entities controlled by the lawyer

Paragraph (a)(2) has been broadened to cover all circumstances in which a lawyer’s provision of law-related services are distinct from the lawyer’s provision of legal services. This change, coupled with the changes to Comments [2] and [3], is intended to clarify that (1) there can be situations in which a law firm’s provision of law-related services will be distinct from the firm’s provision of legal services, even though rendered by the firm rather than a separate entity, and (2) that in such circumstances the lawyer must comply with paragraph (a)(2). This change eliminates an unintended gap in the coverage of the Model Rule.

COMMENT:

[2] This change clarifies that a lawyer can directly provide law-related services in circumstances that are distinct from the lawyer’s provision of legal services. This precludes an overly restrictive reading of paragraph (a)(1) to the effect that the provision of law-related services could never be distinct from the provision of legal services if directly provided by a lawyer or law firm, rather than by a separate entity.

[3] The new sentence clarifies that paragraph (a)(2) applies in all cases in which the provision of law-related services is distinct from the provision of legal services within the meaning of paragraph (a)(1), without regard to whether the law-related services are provided directly by the lawyer or the lawyer’s firm or by a separate entity controlled by the lawyer or law firm.

[10] The Commission changed the reference to Rule 1.7(b) in light of changes that were made to that Rule.

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