Potentially 'earth-shattering' changes for Arizona law firm ownership are now in effect

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Posted at 9:18 AM, Feb 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-19 11:18:54-05

PHOENIX — At the start of the year, rule changes took effect that have the potential to drastically reshape the delivery of legal services in Arizona.

Changes in the Arizona Code of Judicial Administration include adjustments in how lawyers can advertise their services, the creation of a new class of "legal paraprofessional" nonlawyers who can practice law in limited settings and lifted ownership restrictions for law firms.

This combination of rule changes are unique in America and makes Arizona the first in the nation to allow such practices. These changes come on the heels of Arizona becoming the first state to implement a digital evidence management system in courts statewide.

Law firm ownership has traditionally been reserved for attorneys only, but last year the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously voted to remove a rule from its ethics code which barred fee-splitting with nonlawyers.

Read the full article at Phoenix Business Journal.