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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. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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