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2001 BYU L. Rev. 375 (2001)
At the Helm of the Multidisciplinary Practice Issue after the ABA's Recommendation: States Finding Solutions by Taking Stock in European Harmonization to Preserve Their Sovereignty in Regulating the Legal Profession

handle is hein.journals/byulr2001 and id is 385 raw text is: At the Helm of the Multidisciplinary Practice Issue
After the ABA's Recommendation: States Finding
Solutions by Taking Stock in European
Harmonization to Preserve Their Sovereignty in
Regulating the Legal Profession
I. INTRODUCTION
[A]n MDP [multidisciplinary practice] is an organization
owned wholly or in part by non-lawyers which provides legal services
directly to the public through owner or employee lawyers.1 The is-
sues raised by the multidisciplinary practice of law are numerous and
complex, and include international legal trends, economic pressures,
consumer demands, the permanency of ethical codes, professional
independence, and the scope of a state's power to limit the legal pro-
fession.
Possibly for these reasons, multidisciplinary practice has been
deemed by many, including the president of the American Bar Asso-
ciation (the ABA), to be the most important problem facing the
legal profession.2 Because the multidisciplinary practice of law has
been flmctionally illegal in all fifty states,3 the decision of whether
MDPs are ultimately accepted or rejected has been analogized to a
crossroads,4 a cliff,' and to the historical situations of overconfidence
1. Ward Bower, The B& Five's Case for MDPs, 1999 A.B.A. SEC. L. PRAc. MGMT.
ANN. MEETING 185 (noting also that [ifn practice, MDPs also include otherwise independ-
ent law firms owned only by la-wyers which practice in close cooperation with professional ser-
vice firms owned exclusively or partly by non-lawyers, usually under a contractual arrange-
ment).
2. See American Bar Association Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice, General
Information Form (visited Oct. 30, 2000) <http://xvw.abanet.org/cpr/mdpgeninfo.html>;
see also Richard Pena, Wjere Do We Go from Here?, 62 TEX. B.J. 328, 330 (1999).
3. See American Bar Association Commission on Multidisciplinary Practice, Back-
ground Paper on Multidisciplinary Practice: Lksues and Developments (visited Oct. 30, 2000)
<http://wwwv.abanet.org/cpr/ multicomreport0199.html> [hereinafter Background Paper].
4. Richard Pena, The State of the Profession, 62 TEX. B.J. 110, 110 (1999) (noting that
[the legal profession in this state and throughout the country is at a crossroads. We have the
opportunity to chart the proper course for the future, and a real chance of being
successful. .. ).
5. See Pena, supra note 2, at 328.

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