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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'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

  2. Such is not uncommon on law school startups. Students and faculty should tap Bruce Green, city attorney of Lufkin, Texas. He led a group of studnets and faculty and sued the ABA as a law student. He knows the ropes, has advised other law school startups. Very astute and principled attorney of unpopular clients, at least in his past, before Lufkin tapped him to run their show.

  3. Not that having the appellate records on Odyssey won't be welcome or useful, but I would rather they first bring in the stray counties that aren't yet connected on the trial court level.

  4. Aristotle said 350 bc: "The most hated sort, and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself, and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange, but not to increase at interest. And this term interest, which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Wherefore of an modes of getting wealth this is the most unnatural.

  5. Oh yes, lifetime tenure. The Founders gave that to the federal judges .... at that time no federal district courts existed .... so we are talking the Supreme Court justices only in context ....so that they could rule against traditional marriage and for the other pet projects of the sixties generation. Right. Hmmmm, but I must admit, there is something from that time frame that seems to recommend itself in this context ..... on yes, from a document the Founders penned in 1776: " He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good."

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