According to the ABA Journal, co-chairs Jamie Gorelick and Michael Traynor confirmed that the campaign to give non-lawyer ownership consideration at the February 2013 ABA Midyear Meeting in Dallas has been dropped, and will not be put before the association’s policy-making House of Delegates. It was indicated that the decision was influenced by feedback received from other bar associations as well as individual members.
The decision marks an end to a three-year phase of discussions over the US non-lawyer ownership question. Legal Week reports that the ABA has released a statement explaining: ‘There does not appear to be a sufficient basis for recommending a change on ABA policy on the non-lawyer ownership of law firms.’
Among those disappointed with the decision is Thomas Gordon, legal and policy director for Washington DC-based non-profit firm Responsive Law. He told Legal Week: ‘We’re sitting here well into the twenty-first century, and the ABA has decided not to even bring the business of the practice of law to the 1980s. They will not even adopt proposals DC has had in place for well over a couple of decades.'