UPDATED: Rule Changes and Code Section Proposals Affecting the Practice of Law

3/6/2020 12:00:00 AM

By Brian Y. Furuya
President, State Bar of Arizona
March 6, 2020

It is important that we continue to inform State Bar members that the Arizona Supreme Court is considering a rule-change petition that would affect the practice of law in Arizona. Among the possible changes would be the elimination of the prohibition on lawyers and nonlawyers jointly operating a law office. That change and others are viewed by proponents as a significant effort to address the widening Access to Justice Gap.

In addition to Petition R-20-0034, which is currently open for comment, the Administrative Office of the Courts has filed a proposal to create a new section of the Arizona Code of Judicial Administration (ACJA). The proposal can be viewed on the ACJA Web Forum. Proposed Section: 7-209 Alternative Business Structures (ABS), sets forth the regulatory requirements for ABSs not covered in R-20-0034.

The proposed Code section also establishes the policies and procedures for the licensing of ABSs, which are entities with non-lawyer ownership that wish to provide legal services.

We encourage you to read the R-20-0034 and Code proposals together to understand the full regulatory structure being proposed. Ready to comment? Instructions for posting comments on the Forum are available here.