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IBA Issues Response to Proposed Lawyer Regulation

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As the United States Senate began debate on the proposed Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”), the Indianapolis Bar Association issued a letter to oppose provisions within the CFPA which would grant the proposed Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection broad new powers to regulate lawyers. Signed by IBA President Chris Hickey, the letter notes several concerns.

“These provisions will allow the Bureau to regulate and interfere with core aspects of the confidential attorney-client relationship, including the legal advice and other important legal services that lawyers routinely provide to their consumer clients,” wrote the IBA.

The letter added, “These provisions will also undermine traditional state court regulation of lawyers and will result in new federal rules that are inconsistent with the state courts’ longstanding ethical rules and standards governing lawyers.”

It also asserted that “allowing the Bureau to fully regulate lawyers just as if they were non-bank financial institutions will discourage many lawyers from providing the legal services that consumer clients need to save their homes from foreclosure, resolve their debt problems, or avoid bankruptcy.”

To avoid these problems, the IBA urged support of the “Exclusion for the Practice of Law” proposed by the American Bar Association, which is almost identical to the amendment previously crafted by leaders of the House Judiciary and Financial Services Committees and incorporated into the House-passed financial overhaul bill, H.R. 4173.

The IBA noted, “Unlike the narrow ‘Exclusion for Attorneys’ provision currently contained in Section 1027(e) of the Senate bill, the proposed amendment would protect consumers while preserving the confidential attorney-client relationship, traditional state court regulation and supervision of lawyers, and the continued availability of quality legal services that consumer clients need.”

The letter was sent to Indiana’s U.S. Senators Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh, as well as U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs Chairman Senator Chris Dodd and Ranking Member Senator Richard Shelby.•

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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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