David Bookstaver, Director
Mai Yee, Assistant Director
Date: July 24, 2001
|New York is First State to Regulate MDP|
|NEW YORK - Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and Chief Administrative
Judge Jonathan Lippman today announced that New York will be the first
state in the country to directly address the regulation of the multidisciplinary
practice of law (MDP). The new regulatory framework is based on a
proposal of the New York State Bar Association and reflects New York's
response to the American Bar Association's July 2000 resolution urging
each jurisdiction to revise its laws to regulate MDP in a way that preserves
the core values of the legal profession. The New York Code of Professional
Responsibility will include two new sections and several related amendments
approved by the Presiding Justices and the four Appellate Divisions of
the Supreme Court, which regulate the practice of law in New York.
Chief Judge Kaye stated: "I am very pleased that New York is taking
the national lead in developing a model for regulating cooperative business
arrangements between lawyers and nonlawyers. First and foremost, the new
regulatory framework protects the interests of clients and preserves the
core values of the legal profession-professional independence of judgment,
undivided loyalty to clients and protection of confidential client information.
I commend and thank the New York State Bar Association for its strong leadership
and the sound approach it has taken to the national debate on MDP.
My colleagues on the Administrative Board-Presiding Justices Sullivan,
Bracken, Cardona and Pigott-and their courts have again demonstrated their
commitment to ensuring that the practice of law serves the best interests
of the public. "
NYSBA President Steven C. Krane added: "We are enormously proud that New York has taken the lead and become the first state in the nation to establish comprehensive rules governing strategic alliances and other contractual relationships between lawyers and nonlegal professional service providers. The new rules are the product of several years of study and analysis, and stand as a testament to what can be accomplished when bench and bar work together toward common goals. The NYSBA expresses its deepest gratitude to the Interdepartmental Committee on the Code of Professional Responsibility, the Administrative Board of the Courts and to Chief Administrative Judge Lippman for acting upon this critical issue with such thoughtfulness and promptness."
The amendments to the Code of Professional Responsibility had their origin in a 388-page report issued in April 2000 by the NYSBA's Special Committee on the Law Governing Firm Structure and Operation. The report, entitled "Preserving the Core Values of the American Legal Profession: The Place of Multidisciplinary Practice in the Law Governing Lawyers," set forth certain principles which greatly influenced the national debate on MDP. It ultimately formed the basis for the ABA House of Delegates' July 2000 resolution, which called upon each jurisdiction to revise its law governing lawyers by adopting safeguards relating to strategic alliances and other contractual relationships between lawyers and nonlegal professional service providers, and otherwise to assure the preservation of the core values of the legal profession.
The amendments will take effect on November 1, 2001. They will be codified in the Joint Appellate Division Disciplinary Rules.