The State Bar’s Board of Trustees created a Task Force on Access through Innovation of Legal Services (ATILS) which was charged with identifying “possible regulatory changes for enhancing the delivery of, and access to, legal services through the use of technology, including artificial intelligence and online legal service delivery models.” ATILS was asked to balance two goals: consumer protection and increased access to legal services. In response, ATILS prepared a set of regulatory reform options, and the public has been invited to comment. The potential impact of these changes on solo and small firm practitioners is far-reaching.
The State Bar has summarized some of the key options on which ATILS is seeking public comment:
- Narrowing restrictions on the unauthorized practice of law (UPL) to allow persons or businesses other than a lawyer or law firm to render legal services, provided they meet appropriate eligibility standards and comply with regulatory requirements;
- Permitting a non-lawyer to own or have a financial interest in a law practice; and
- Permitting lawyers to share fees with non-lawyers under certain circumstances and amending other attorney rules regarding advertising, solicitation, and the duty to competently provide legal services.
More information is available at this link: http://www.calbar.ca.gov/About-Us/Our-Mission/Protecting-the-Public/Public-Comment/Public-Comment-Archives/2019-Public-Comment/Options-for-Regulatory-Reforms-to-Promote-Access-to-Justice
Deadline to comment on-line: September 23, 2019