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Problem-solving in a multi-disciplinary environment? Must ethics get in the way of holistic services?

Paterson, Alan and Norwood, Michael (2002) Problem-solving in a multi-disciplinary environment? Must ethics get in the way of holistic services? Clinical Law Review, 9 (1). pp. 337-372. ISSN 1079-1159

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Abstract

The paper develops its core theme of seeking a path for both retaining the traditional notions of legal ethics and professional values, while also accommodating the advantages of MDPs, through three parts. The first part puts forth a working definition of a multidisciplinary practice and posits four models for managing multidisciplinary practices. Part two, introduces the interplay of the core values of the legal profession with the models for managing MDPs that are developed in part one. The legal profession's shared notions of loyalty to clients, confidentiality, privilege, professional independence of judgment, conflicts of interest, unauthorized practice, managing legal fees and trust accounts, truthfulness and fairness in marketing, and enforcement of professional discipline, are all at risk of profound alteration by the challenge of MDPs. The last part describes a working model for managing a MDP that provides the advantages of such practice without eroding the fundamental values of the profession.