The Power of Lawyer Regulators to Increase Client & Public Protection Through Adoption of a Proactive Regulation System
85 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2016
Date Written: November 6, 2016
This Article focuses on those who regulate U.S. lawyers. The Article argues that the lawyers who head regulatory bodies in the United States have the ability to adjust the focus of the regulator for which they work in a way that will increase client and public protection. The Article further argues that it is appropriate for lawyers in these positions to exercise this power and that they should do so. The Article concludes by offering two concrete recommendations.
The first recommendation is that those who are in charge should, upon reflection, adopt a mindset in which they recognize that the regulator should be systematically trying to prevent problematic behavior by lawyers, as well as responding to such behavior after it occurs. The second recommendation is that regulators should take advantage of a tool they already have at their disposal, which is their state’s equivalent to ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct 5.1. If jurisdictions added two questions about Rule 5.1 to lawyers’ annual bar dues statement, along with a link to additional online resources, they would be able to emulate actions that have been taken in Australia and Canada. The data suggest that such steps could dramatically reduce client complaints, lead to improved client service, and change the ways in which lawyers operate their law practices.
Keywords: proactive lawyer regulation, PMBR, Nova Scotia, Colorado, entity regulation, legal services, rule 5.1
JEL Classification: L8, L84, K33, N70
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation