Non-traditional legal services has been a hot button issue in the legal profession thus far in 2016.
Back in February at the American Bar Association’s Midyear Meeting, the ABA House of Delegates passed a resolution that created regulatory objectives for state’s to consider adopting, in order to regulate these different types of legal service providers.
Resolution 105, the brainchild of the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services, caused quite a bit of a stir in the legal community — even at our own conference in April: The Future Is Now.
Currently, nearly two dozen jurisdictions outside of the United States have adopted or are pending approval of their own regulatory objectives, including Australia, Denmark, England, India, Ireland, New Zealand, Scotland, Wales, and a number of Canadian provinces.
But yet, since the adoption of the resolution, no United States jurisdictions have created their own version of these regulatory objectives or incorporated some form of mention to regulating these non-traditional legal services in any of their rules — until now.
In mid-April, Colorado amended its Preamble to the Rules Governing the Practice of Law and included a minor mention to regulating these types of services.
The newly amended Preamble lists nine objectives the court must uphold when regulating the practice of law in the public’s best interest. The third objective acknowledges Resolution 105:
Enhancing client protection and promoting consumer confidence through Attorney Regulation Counsel, the Attorneys Fund for Client Protection, inventory counsel services, the regulation of non-lawyers engaged in providing legal services, and other proactive programs;
Though the mention in this regulatory objective is minor, it sounds like it may be alluding to the idea that some type of rule regarding regulation may be in the works. However, only time will tell what is to come in Colorado and in other jurisdictions for the regulation of non-traditional legal services.