The State Bar seeks public comment on proposals for regulatory reforms developed by the Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services (ATILS)
Deadline: September 23, 2019
Under the authority of the Supreme Court of California, the State Bar of California regulates attorneys and the practice of law in California. The State Bar maintains rules of professional conduct for attorneys and enforces those rules as well as coordinates with law enforcement to enforce laws prohibiting those without a law license from providing legal services.
The State Bar is governed by a Board of Trustees. In 2018, the Board received a Legal Market Landscape Report suggesting that some of the rules and laws governing the legal profession may be hindering innovations that could expand the availability of legal services. The Board appointed a Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services (ATILS) and assigned it to identify possible regulatory changes to remove barriers to innovation in the delivery of legal services by lawyers and others. ATILS was charged with balancing dual goals: consumer protection and increased access to legal services.
ATILS has developed 16 concept options for possible regulatory changes, and the Task Force is now seeking public input to help evaluate these ideas.
The 16 options include some that overlap and some that represent alternative approaches to a particular regulatory change. For example, ATILS is considering two different rule changes addressing whether a lawyer should be allowed to share a fee with a nonlawyer and would like public input on both of them. The key regulatory issues addressed by the options on which ATILS is seeking public comment include:
The potential benefit of these changes could include:
ATILS carefully considered public protection in developing the proposed concept options by:
Some of the proposals would require that a subsequent implementation body evaluate and plan implementation strategies and details. Further work might, for example, involve pilot programs or changes in statutory laws with sunset provisions.
After considering any public comment received, the task force will prepare a final report to be submitted to the Board no later than December 31, 2019.
State Bar Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct
September 23, 2019
Comments should be submitted using the online Public Comment Form. The online form allows you to enter your comments directly and can also be used to upload a comment letter and/or other attachments. Please target comments to a specific option or proposal where possible. In cases where alternative options are offered, comments specific to each of the alternatives would be most useful.There is also a place in the form to offer general comments on the proposed options.
However, if you cannot use the online form, comments may be submitted by mail to the address indicated below.
Office of Professional Competence, Planning and Development
State Bar of California
180 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94105