ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20

About the Commission

Created by then ABA President Carolyn B. Lamm in 2009, the Commission performed a thorough review of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct and the U.S. system of lawyer regulation in the context of advances in technology and global legal practice developments. The Commission’s recommendations were adopted by the ABA House of Delegates as noted below.

Commission Updates

ABA House of Delegates Approves Commission's Resolutions

On Monday, February 11, 2013, the ABA House of Delegates approved the following Resoultions at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Dallas, Texas:

  • Revised 107A (Rule 5.5: Unauthorized Practice of Law; Multijurisdictional Practice of Law)
  • Revised 107B (Model Rule for Registration of In-House Counsel)
  • 107C as Amended (ABA Model Rule on Pro Hac Vice Admission)
  • 107D (Disciplinary Authority; Choice of Law)

The ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 has filed the following Revised Resolutions 107 A & 107 B relating to limited practice authority for foreign In-House Counsel.  The original Resolutions provided that foreign in-house counsel could not advise on the law of a U.S. jurisdiction except in consultation with a U.S. lawyer authorized to provide that advice.  The Revised Resolutions now provide that foreign in-house counsel cannot advise on the law of a U.S. jurisdiction or of the United States except “based on the advice of a lawyer licensed and authorized by the jurisdiction to provide that advice.”  The change was made to provide consistency with the ABA Model Rule for Licensing and Practice of Foreign Legal Consultants, thus avoiding unintended ambiguity and confusion by states wanting to adopt the Rules and those who would then rely upon them (including foreign legal consultants that serve in-house). 

The following was filed with the ABA House of Delegates for its consideration at the February 2013 ABA Midyear Meeting in Dallas, Texas.  

As noted on the Resolutions and Reports, the views expressed therein have not been approved by the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and, accordingly, should not be construed as representing the policy of the American Bar Association.

House of Delegates Filings

ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 Will Refer Fee Division Issues to the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility

The ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 has referred fee division issues to the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility rather than propose changes to ABA Model Rule 1.5 (e). The proposal would have addressed a narrow and technical issue -- whether a lawyer in a jurisdiction that prohibits nonlawyer ownership of law firms and the sharing of legal fees with nonlawyers may divide a fee with a lawyer in a different firm in which such ownership or fee sharing occurs and is permitted by the Rules applicable to that firm. Commission Co-Chairs’ Statement

New!  ABA House of Delegates Approves Commission's Resolutions

On Monday, August 6, 2012 the ABA's policy-making House of Delegates voted to approve the following:

For a compilation of all changes to the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and related ABA policies that the House of Delegates approved as a result of the adoption of Resolutions 105A-F Click here.

The following was filed on May 7, 2012 with the ABA House of Delegates for its consideration at the Chicago Annual meeting in August 2012.

Note: 
The views expressed herein have not been approved by the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and, accordingly, should not be construed as representing the policy of the American Bar Association.

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House of Delagates Filings

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