Editorial: Is Door Open for Nonlawyer Ownership Of Firms?

Subsection (d) of Rule 5.4 (Professional Independence of a Lawyer) of the Rules of Professional Conduct is unambiguous and unequivocal: A lawyer shall not practice with or in the form of a professional corporation or association authorized to practice law for a profit if: 1) A nonlawyer owns any interest therein…. 2) A nonlawyer is a corporate director or officer thereof or occupies the position of similar responsibility in any form of association other than a corporation. 3) A nonlawyer has the right to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer.

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