Julia J. Hall

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On the forefront of the current debate surrounding legal ethics is the heated question of whether the legal profession should permit its members to participate in multidisciplinary practices or partnerships ("MDPs") and thereby share fees with nonlawyers. Currently, this conduct is prohibited by the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. This issue clearly has global implications for various professions desiring to partner with attorneys, and those persons with interest in this area have followed the debate closely as viewpoints are researched and expressed in support of one position over another. Nonetheless, the American Bar Association ("ABA") has effectively closed the door on the question of amending Model Rule 5.4 to allow MDPs. This leaves the matter entirely in the hands of state bar associations and courts that establish rules of professional conduct for their jurisdictions, thus meaning the issue is not dead yet (to the dismay of MDP opponents). This Comment addresses some of the underlying questions that all lawyers should ask before hastily "rush[ing] to judgment" on the issue of whether their state bar associations should relax the rules on the sharing of fees with nonlawyers.