This message is on behalf of Dan Robinson, OCBA President
The OCBA and its State Bar Task Force have endeavored over the past few years to keep OCBA members apprised of ongoing changes within the State Bar of California, including updates concerning (1) the California Paraprofessional Working Group, which seeks to allow non lawyers to practice law without attorney supervision under specific circumstances; and (2) the Closing the Justice Gap Working Group, which seeks to establish a “sandbox” allowing non-lawyers to have ownership interests in law firms and technology-based platforms to practice law without the supervision of an attorney. The OCBA has submitted public comment to the State Bar in opposition to these programs.
In order for the State Bar to invoice attorneys for licensing fees, the legislature must pass a “fee bill”. This year, that bill is AB 2958. Recently, the legislature added language to the fee bill that would require the State Bar working groups to exclude corporate ownership and sharing legal fees with non-lawyers. The fee bill would also require prioritizing the protection of individuals and adherence to and prohibition of any abrogation of restrictions on the unauthorized practice of law.
There have been tremendous efforts to have these provisions removed by proponents of the State Bar’s initiatives, including technology companies who stand to profit if the State Bar’s initiatives proceed, and the Justice Technology Association, which includes on its board the CEOs of Courtroom5, EasyExpunctions.com, HelloDivorce, and PeopleClerk.
If you would like to submit a letter regarding AB 2958, time is short. They are requesting comments no later than this Thursday, August 11, 2022, by sending an email to the following:
Amanda Mattson, Counsel, Senate Judiciary Committee
Or via the legislative portal:
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.