Less is More

The current political mood of the country seems to be that "less is more," at least when it comes to government intervention. A student of American history will note the changes and mood swings between federal/national involvement and states’ action. On reflection, we may be going through one of those swings now.

A similar reaction is being generated by the mere mention of the American Bar Association reviewing the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to determine whether new rules should be created or old rules modified in reaction to the new technology. The problem is that new technology such as social media is merely a distribution method of ideas. Rules already exist that deal with statements to the public, advertising, self-promotion and the creation of attorney-client relationships, just to mention a few.

There is nothing inherently wrong with the ABA reviewing the rules. But, sole and small firm practitioners are fearful that the ABA will not stop at merely a "review." And, as Carolyn Elefant so eloquently pointed out, the members of the task force/commission that are reviewing the impact of the social media are, themselves, devoid of any personal experience with the media. That would be like someone with no newspaper experience at all seeking to create rules of procedure for the newspaper industry. Or someone with no automotive experience trying to design a car.

Here, the case can be made that there are now rules on the books; more are not needed.

Strange how this discussion takes me back to the conversation about the Bar preventing lawyers from taking retainers to do loan modification and loan foreclosure prevention work. Who does the Bar represent anyway? Ah, but that’s another question for another day.

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