Multidisciplinary Practices: Where are They? What Happened?
Posted: 7 May 2004
In this article, Professor Hymel reexamines the MDP debate as it has developed in the states since ABA House of Delegates voted to reject MDPs in the summer of 2000. That summer, as the state delegates went home to consider whether or not their jurisdiction would adopt or reject MDPs, however, the legal and economic landscape changed dramatically. Beginning with the Enron bankruptcy in December 2001, corporate scandal after corporate scandal began to unfold implicating not only corporate executives, but also their attorneys and accountants. Both Congress and the American Bar Association took action. Congress enacted the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 imposing significant new rules on public corporations and the professionals that serve them. The ABA issued a major report outlining measures to ensure corporate responsibility and accountability. This article takes a look back and a look forward at the life of MDPs in the United States and considers how those events affected states in their consideration of multidisciplinary practices. By reflecting on the actions taking place at the state level, it is clear that these intervening events significantly impeded any movement to sanction MDPs in the United States. At the end of this report, a current summary of the states' positions on MDPs is provided.
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