Skip to main content

Will the ABA Move to Regulate Legal Service Providers?

Last week, Robert Ambrogi of the Law Sites blog noted that the number of startups providing legal services has grown dramatically over the last few years. Using data from Angel List, a site that tracks start-ups, he found that in 2014 the site listed 412 legal startups. Now, only two years later, that number has grown nearly threefold to 1094. Technology continues to have disruptive effects on numerous industries, and many have long seen the legal services market as one ripe for disruption. 

The American Bar Association has taken notice of the rapid rise in non-traditional legal service providers, and may in the future seek to regulate these legal service providers and the services they may offer. A recent discussion paper produced by the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services asks for comment on whether the ABA should encourage states to develop new regulatory structures for these non-traditional (and currently unregulated) legal service providers. According to the report, the types of legal services providers perform are numerous including:  “automated legal document assembly for consumers, law firms, and corporate counsel; expert systems that address legal issues through a series of branching questions and answers; electronic discovery; legal process outsourcing; legal process insourcing and design; legal project management and process improvement; knowledge management; online dispute resolution; data analytics; and many others.”

The ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, adopted by most states including Texas, govern the actions of the attorney, but not the law firm or legal services provider. The ABA Commission notes that new regulations may be appropriate for protection of the consumers' interests even if the services performed by the provider do not amount to "the practice of law." The Commission suggests as one possible solution  entity regulation, where the entity providing the services is regulated, rather than the individual (e.g. attorney). The Commission notes that this type of regulation may also allow states to regulate some legal service providers that have a great effect on the individual consumer (like automated document services marketed toward individuals), but not others (like legal process serving) where the service is already supervised by the attorney engaging the service.

The Commission is seeking comments on the issue until April 28. The full discussion paper is available here.

Comments

  1. After reading this blog i got lot of information about legal services and also startups services. expert legal opinion | Service Tax Registration

    ReplyDelete
  2. It is such a appreciable content thanks for sharing it.
    Online CFO Services | Tan Registrations

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Spying and International Law

With increasing numbers of foreign governments officially objecting to now-widely publicized U.S. espionage activities, the topic of the legality of these activities has been raised both by the target governments and by the many news organizations reporting on the issue.For those interested in better understanding this controversy by learning more about international laws concerning espionage, here are some legal resources that may be useful.

The following is a list of multinational treaties relevant to spies and espionage:
Brussels Declaration concerning the Laws and Customs of War (1874).Although never ratified by the nations that drafted it, this declaration is one of the earliest modern examples of an international attempt to codify the laws of war.Articles 19-22 address the identification and treatment of spies during wartime.These articles served mainly to distinguish active spies from soldiers and former spies, and provided no protections for spies captured in the act.The Hagu…

Citing to Vernon's Texas Codes Annotated: Finding Accurate Publication Dates (without touching a book)

When citing to a current statute, both the Bluebook (rule 12.3.2) and Greenbook (rule 10.1.1) require a  practitioner to provide the publication date of the bound volume in which the cited code section appears. For example, let's cite to the codified statute section that prohibits Texans from hunting or selling bats, living or dead. Note, however, you may remove or hunt a bat that is inside or on a building occupied by people. The statute is silent as to Batman, who for his own safety, best stay in Gotham City.
This section of the Texas Parks and Wildlife code is 63.101. "Protection of Bats." After checking the pocket part and finding no updates in the supplement, my citation will be:
Tex. Parks & Wild. Code Ann. § 63.101 (West ___ ). When I look at the statute in my bound volume of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Code, I can clearly see that the volume's publication date is 2002. But, when I find the same citation on Westlaw or LexisNexis, all I can see is that the …