Responses to Bar’s proposal

Hear are several comments in response to the clarion call.

Let me know what you think.  I’ll convey your perspective to the State Bar ….

From: Edward Wiest <>
Date: Jun 19, 2006 1:15 AM


It bears remembering that the California proposal flows out of an ABA national recommendation for amendment of the Rules of Professional Responsibility on a nationwide basis.  While fifteen or so states have adopted such rules ( see Carolyn Elefant’s My Shingle post on the topic), the organized bar in others have resisted mandatory insurance/disclosure requirements–such as in Massachusetts, where the Massachusetts Bar Association officially opposed a 2004-05 proposal for such a rule and the Boston Bar Association (after prompting by, among others, its solo and small firms section) proposed a multi-player task force to “study” the issue.  Nothing has been heard since.
Does this suggest that lawyers–particularly solo and small firm lawyers–are never the beneficiary of unitary bar systems, where membership in the state bar is mandatory and the organized bar then writes and enforces the rules?(My response:  Thank you, Ed, for pointing out that MA Bar has resisted such an attempt.)

From: Jonathan Stein
Law Offices of Jonathan G Stein
5050 Laguna Blvd, Suite 112-325
Elk Grove, CA 95758
916 247 6868


Good post, but I disagree with you whole heartedly. I think this is a good thing. My biggest issue: the state bar cannot mandate affordable insurance.

(My response to Jonathan:

Thank you for your kind words.

Jonathan, on the contrary, the State Bar can … as does Oregon Bar. The program in Oregon is run by its State Bar … and they mandate insurance at rates such that the private carriers can’t gouge the market …

Further, large law firms can self-insure and avoid the stigma.

Small firms who still won’t purchase insurance at 10% of their current income (not gross revenue) potentially will be at a competitive disadvantage …

And, the biggest knock against this provision is that the public will be no better protected than before. As noted, if public information is truly the issue, why not educate the public about the economics of law practice … Why should some lawyers earn hundreds of thousands of dollars and others (e.g., the 25% of the Bar) earn $50,000 or less. Is the one lawyer better than the other, or just a better marketer?

I am convinced that public protection is not the issue here.  Economics is at play!)




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