The State Bar, in an attempt to bridge the justice gap, put out for public comment several recommendations to allow (1) nonlawyers to practice law (the circumstances and specifics we do not yet know), (2) nonlawyer ownership in law firms, (3) fee splitting with nonlawyers, (4) technology based legal service providers (artificial intelligence) to be exempt from the unlawful practice of law definition with no lawyer input, and (5) many changes to the recently changed Rules of Professional Conduct that would allow for these changes.
The OCBA held a town hall on September 18 with members of the State Bar task force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services (ATILS) to allow them to present the proposed recommendations. The OCBA then put on 9 speakers on the various topics of discussion, followed by a question and answer session. It was very interesting and informative. The town hall was livestreamed on Facebook. If you would like to see it, please got to the OCBA's Facebook page and you will be able to view the video.
Additionally, the OCBA put out a survey to all of its members regarding these issues.
In response to its members' concerns, the OCBA Board prepared public comment to the State Bar's proposals. Click here to view the OCBA's public comment.