While the whole idea is very interesting of
- giving the big foxes (legal establishment)
- authority to "discipline" the small foxes (solo and small-firm attorneys nearly exclusively targeted for discipline), and
- for both big and small foxes to be charged with the authority
- to protect the rights of the chickens (the consumers)
- without asking the chickens' opinions
- whether they want their rights to be guarded by foxes, or
- how well chickens think foxes are guarding their rights,
On the one hand, none of the states complied so far with North Carolina Dental.
On the other hand, things did start happening to attorney regulation, and especially to regulation by the so-called "mandatory state bars" - where state bars, trade organizations for attorneys, with an interest to maximize its members' profit and minimize competition against its members, is given to regulate itself for the purposes of protecting its own clients - from themselves.
First, in California, after an audit of the California State Bar and the resulting scandal, the State Legislature refused to renew the State Bar's mandate to collect membership fees. Of course, the California State Supreme Court overruled that, but that was a scare.
Second, in Arizona, after attorneys got pissed for licensing/"voluntary" membership fees being upped to much and filed a petition, the Arizona Legislature has introduced a new House Bill (that has now passed the Arizona House) to split mandatory (regulatory, disciplinary) functions of Arizona State Bar and the voluntary (trade association, advocacy) functions of the State Bar.
So, now the Arizona State Bar has one pocket and collecting there donations for both "advocacy" for its members before the government and prosecutions of its own members on behalf of the government.
If the bill passes, Arizona State Bar will have two pockets for two streams of cash - one for "disciplinary" purposes, a mandatory stream, and one for "advocacy" purposes, a "voluntary stream".
Of course, there emerges a problem of prosecutorial corruption which the new "separate the prosecutor's pockets" bill creates, where prosecutors are "voluntarily" "incentivized" by members of the State Bar - which in normal language is called a bribe.
One does not need a crystal ball to predict that those who "voluntarily" "contribute" the membership fees of the Arizona State bar, will not be prosecuted, while the "greedy ones" who would not grease the prosecutor's pockets by giving them "voluntarily" anything (and those, likely, will be solo attorneys and small firms), will be targeted for discipline even more than they are now.
Third, in the State of Washington the fee functions were not split by the Legislature into "mandatory" and "trade" functions - so the Washington State Bar keeps a single pocket and is "commingling" "prosecution" and "advocacy" funds from its involuntary members.
In the State of Washington, members of the mandatory State Bar, similarly, as in Arizona, were pissed with the upping of the licensing fee, but - and voted the measure down by referendum under its bylaws.
Yet, the measure - same as the Legislative refusal to allow the State Bar to collect membership fees because of fraud, misuse and waste revealed by the audit - was overruled by the State Supreme Court.
1) that the State of Washington has authority to regulate the legal profession, and delegated that authority to the State Supreme Court through the State Bar Act of 1933;
2) that the State Supreme Court of the State of Washington has an "inherent" authority to regulate, of all profession, only the legal profession (while regulation of other profession is handled by the executive b ranch); and
3) that the State Legislature and the State Supreme Court have joint authority to regulate the legal profession.
So, 2 branches - Legislative and Judicial - confuse each other and the public as to their right to exercise the function of the third branch, Executive, to regulate just one profession out of many - attorneys.
How the public, the consumers will benefit from all of this mess, is anybody's guess, but it is apparent that the legal profession is further "rearranging the chairs on Titanic's deck".
Not that this under-the-rug struggle will help in the large scheme of things.
According to some insiders in the artificial intelligence industry, the future of the legal profession does not lie in mandatory state bars.
Not even in deregulation.
It lies in robots - according to AI predictions, within short 10 years (maybe shorter, with the way technology develops now), the majority of lawyers will be replaced by robots.
Where will the "liberated" - from their jobs - hordes of lawyers will go then?