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California Lawyers Association (CLA) Welcomes ABA Resolution to Reconfirm Core Values ​​of Law Firm Ownership

SACRAMENTO, Calif., August 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ The California Bar Association (CLA) welcomes the American Bar Association’s (ABA) passage of a resolution opposing the revision of the law prohibiting lawyers from sharing legal fees with non-lawyers and transferring to non-lawyers ownership or control of entities practicing law. Resolution 402, passed at the ABA’s annual conference in Chicagoargues that “sharing legal costs with non-lawyers and ownership or control of the practice of law by non-lawyers is inconsistent with the core values ​​of the legal profession”.

CLA expressed its concerns in a September 2019 letter to the State Bar of California regarding potential amendments to Ethics Rule 5.4 that would allow non-lawyers to participate in fee sharing and share in the profits or ownership of entities that provide legal services, among other proposed recommendations to address California judicial gap. CLA recognizes the need to repair California deviation from justice, and he urged the State Bar to California consider alternative methods of remediation that do not sacrifice the ethics of the legal profession, such as funding pre-existing and effective programs, and address the existing knowledge gap as well as the real justice gap. CLA has raised concerns with the State Bar of California again in a January 2022 letter.

“On behalf of the California Lawyers Association, I was proud to support and recommend the passage of Resolution 402,” said Jeremy Evans, president of the California Bar Association. “I was very pleased to work with and see our wonderful California delegation to the American Bar Association House of Delegates supporting Resolution 402, which received unanimous support, reconfirming our core values ​​of practicing law according to highest standards, while protecting consumers, who are our customers,” said Chairman Evans.

Resolution 402 also reaffirms ABA policy in Resolution 20M115, encouraging U.S. jurisdictions to explore alternative methods to increase access to justice, including addressing the affordability of legal services. While other state bars, including the Illinois State Bar Association and New York State Bar Association, have shown their support for the ABA resolution, it comes on the heels of states such as Arizona and Utah easing fee-sharing and law firm ownership restrictions, and others such as California, Michiganand North Carolina consider similar changes.

“We should do everything we can in the legal profession to create greater avenues and improve access to justice, but we should not do so in a way that negatively impacts voters who have need the most help,” said Oyango Snell, Esq., CEO and Executive Director of CLA. “Resolution 402 amplifies the voices of California legal community that sharing legal fees and ownership of legal services with non-lawyers could cause unintended harm to consumers,” Snell said.

CLA will continue to voice its concerns about changes in the legal profession and to exercise its voice on behalf of the entire legal community. Although a Californiabased on the organization, CLA will represent its constituents nationally and nationally.


Created in 2018, California Bar Association is the bar for all California Lawyers. CLA’s mission is to promote excellence, diversity and inclusion in the legal profession and fairness in the administration of justice and the rule of law.

SOURCE California Bar Association