July 30, 1999
Philip S. Anderson
American Bar Association
750 North Lakeshore Drive
Chicago, Illinois 60611
Dear Mr. Anderson:
The Bar Association of San Francisco joins in the recommendation of other state and local bar associations that the ABA House of Delegates defer any action on the Multi-Disciplinary Practice Commissions Report to allow the Commission to more fully develop its recommendations and to allow our Bar Association, other professional associations, and the public to more fully understand the need for and meaning of the proposed changes.
Our Bar Association provided the Commission with its comments on the matters under consideration on April 22, 1999. The Commission issued its report on June 8, 1999 recommending that the ABA amend the Model Rules of Professional Conduct consistent with 15 principles that would allow the delivery of legal services through a multi-disciplinary practice as defined by the Commission. The Commissions Report which accompanies its recommendation raises many questions that have not been answered and proposes fundamental changes in the delivery of traditional legal services.
Our Association has studied the Commissions work and has concluded that its report deserves further consideration by the Commission as well as by the legal profession and the public before action is taken by the House of Delegates.
We recommend that the House of Delegates debate but not act on the Commissions recommendations. This important subject should be returned to the MDP Commission for further study with directions that the Commission work with the states, the organized bar, and the public to make its recommendations more fully understood. The Commission should further refine and develop its recommendations to more fully reflect the concerns being articulated about the effect of the recommendations on state regulation of the unauthorized practice of law, the interests of consumers of legal services, and the core values of the legal profession.
Very truly yours,
Therese M. Stewart
cc: ABA Commission on Multi-Disciplinary Practice