Ariz. Law Firm Ownership Rule Change Is A Win For Clients

Law360 (September 3, 2020, 12:14 PM EDT) -- When asked how he went bankrupt, one of Ernest Hemingway's memorable characters in "The Sun Also Rises" replied, "Gradually, then suddenly."

The same may soon be said for how the business of law got transformed.

Last week, after years of mounting calls for reform, the Arizona Supreme Court abolished Rule 5.4 of the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibits lawyers from sharing fees with nonlawyers. Rule 5.4 is a relatively obscure ethics rule on the books in every state that has an enormous impact on how lawyers serve clients.

Arizona became the first state to eliminate Rule 5.4. Specially licensed...

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