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Document Type

Notes

Abstract

At the American Bar Association 2000 annual meeting, delegates voted to reinforce Model Rule 5.4, prohibiting fee sharing and partnership between lawyers and non-lawyers in arrangements known as multidisciplinary practices. Nevertheless, the topic continues to be controversial, primarily because the Big Five accounting firms are hiring an increasing number of lawyers and expanding into services that many argue constitute the practice of law. This Note asserts that applying Rule 5.4 uniformly to law firms of all sizes is not in the best interest of the small firms and solo practitioners that comprise the majority of the legal profession; such firms and their clients would benefit if small firms were allowed to participate in MDPs. The author suggests, however, that such firms not be permitted to partner with public auditing firms, whose duty to disclose client activity to the public conflicts with the lawyer's duty to protect client confidences

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