Ethical dilemmas that MDPs face

The present rule prohibits lawyers from sharing fee with non-lawyers, this is considered to be the biggest impediment to MDPs. The law has prevented the lawyers from partnering with business and individuals. The dilemma that arises is whether the lawyers should share fees with other non-lawyer practitioners and again practice law in fully or partially owned institutions owned by non-lawyers and maintain the core values of the law loyalty and confidentiality.

This is supported by lawyers because they protect the freedom of lawyers in presenting clients in a professional manner and judgment with protection of clients’ rights to loyalty and confidentiality. Another dilemma is that MDPs may be found involving themselves in an authorized practice of law. It has been realized that MDPs do offer services like law consultancy through non lawyers and yet denying the fact that they are practicing law. This practice by MDPs destroys the attorney’s client relationship and hence risking the confidence the clients have with attorneys.

Despite the fact that the American Bar Association (ABA) did not accept the proposal by the lawyers about setting the rule that will restrict non-layers from practicing unauthorized practice of law, it recommended that the state law should set such rule to protect the right of lawyers and public interest. The current rules restrict lawyers from entering to MDPs businesses, there is a high and still increasing number of layers entering into such business.

Large firms are more prone to this kind of business compared to small business though it widely opposed in most states as the MDPs are spreading quickly. Due to conflicts that arise in regarding to whether to qualify or disqualify paralegals, conflicts always arise when changing firms. Many states allow screening of paralegal prior to hearings and in some few states this is left as an option but not a must. It would be better to recommend the checking during the job offer. It would be a concern of employment agencies to perform these checks. (Podgers,1980)