May 26

Professor Terry contributes to ABA Ethics 20/20 Work

May 26, 2010

Laurel Terry, the Harvey A. Feldman Distinguished Faculty Scholar and professor of Law, is working with the ABA’s Ethics 20/20 Commission to address ethics rules and regulatory changes that may be brought about because of the advances in technology and globalization that have occurred in the past few years. Professor Terry, who testified before  the commission in February, advised the commission to consider three issue areas in establishing new guidelines: to develop ways for the U.S. legal profession to have input as jurisdictions outside of the United States develop lawyer regulations; to focus on how the ABA might encourage “the good guys” while considering, in a global context, what might be necessary to “catch the bad guys;” and to think about mechanisms that would help ensure that any new rules do not act as an impediment to technological innovations.

Professor Terry serves as a liaison to the 20/20 Commission’s “Inbound Foreign Lawyers” Working Group from the Bar Admissions Committee of the ABA Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar. This Working Group has drafted for the Commission’s consideration proposed changes to ABA model rules on temporary practice, in-house counsel registration, and pro hac vice in order to allow foreign lawyers to use these rules in certain circumstances. 

In establishing the Ethics 20/20 Commission last summer, ABA Executive Director Carolyn Lamm said the guiding principles of the Commission are to “protect the public, preserve core professional values, and maintain a strong, independent and self regulated profession. Reshaping the U.S. legal profession to better serve clients and lawyers in this evolving environment will require a clear vision of the future. It will require 20/20 vision,” Lamm emphasized. 

The commission said it expects it will take three years to issue recommendations. The first year will be spent on research, outreach, and analysis of information regarding critical issues identified in each of the three major subject areas. The second year will focus on the development of proposed policies, principles and, if necessary, model rules for wide circulation and comment. And, the final year will involve continued vetting of proposals and presentation to the ABA House of Delegates.

Professor Terry has served in professional responsibility leadership roles in the AALS, the ABA and the PBA for a number of years. She has served on a number of ABA ethics committees including the Standing Committee on Professional Discipline and the Policy Implementation Committee. She also is a special advisor to the ABA Task Force on International Trade in Legal Services (ITILS). 


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