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Open Access: Utah, California, Arizona, Oh My. What Changes to Law Firm Ownership Rules Really Mean

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 61 minutes
Recorded Date: February 04, 2020
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  • The parameters around these proposed changes
  • What the impact will be for providers if they are implemented?
  • Who is driving the changes and why?
  • Will this spread?

Runtime: 1 hour, 1 minute
Recorded: February 4, 2020


There are concerted efforts in several states to loosen the restrictions on who can practice law or have an ownership stake in law firms. How are these efforts different than ones in the past? What do law firms in those states have to say about it? What do regulators have to say? Are clients in favor?

This program was recorded as part of the Legal Business Strategy Forum at's Legalweek Conference on February 4th, 2020.

Provided By

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Hon. Ann Timmer

Vice Chair Justice
Arizona Supreme Court

Vice Chair Justice Ann A. Scott Timmer was appointed to the Arizona Supreme Court in 2012 by Governor Janice K. Brewer.

Prior to her appointment to the Arizona Supreme Court, Justice Timmer was a judge on the Arizona Court of Appeals from 2000 to 2012, serving three years as Chief Judge. Notably, she chairs the Court’s Legal Services Task Force, which recently recommended removing barriers for lawyers and non-lawyers to share fees. She also chairs the Court’s Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee and is a member of the National Conference of Bar Examiners board of trustees.

Justice Timmer earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, her J.D. magna cum laude, from Arizona State University, and her Masters in Judicial Studies from Duke University Law School.

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Rebecca Sandefur

Arizona State University

Rebecca L. Sandefur is Professor in the The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University and Faculty Fellow at the American Bar Foundation. Her research investigates access to civil justice from every angle -- from how legal services are delivered and consumed, to how civil legal aid is organized around the nation, to the role of pro bono, to the relative efficacy of lawyers, nonlawyers and digital tools as advisers and representatives, to how ordinary people think about their justice problems and try to resolve them.

In 2013, Sandefur was The Hague Visiting Chair in the Rule of Law. In 2015, she was named Champion of Justice by the National Center for Access to Justice. In 2018, she was named a MacArthur Fellow for her work on inequality and access to justice. She is currently Editor of Law & Society Review.

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Hon. Deno Himonas

Utah Supreme Court

Justice Deno Himonas was appointed to the Utah Supreme Court in 2015. For each of the scored minimum performance standards, Justice Himonas scores consistently with the average of his peers, and 94% of survey respondents recommend him for retention. Survey respondents note his engaged manner, diligent work habits, strong case preparation, and his thoughtful and concise legal rulings. A few respondents appreciate that Justice Himonas asks good, tough, and direct questions and pays attention to arguments on all sides. When rating judicial attributes, respondents identify Judge Himonas as particularly attentive and impartial. They also characterize him as notably decisive. This judge meets discipline standards set by statute and has been certified by the Judicial Council as meeting all time standards, education requirements, and mental and physical competence standards.

Justice Deno Himonas was appointed to the Utah Supreme Court in 2015 by Governor Gary Herbert.

Prior to his appointment, he served as a trial court judge for over ten years. Justice Himonas graduated with distinction from the University of Utah and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Upon graduation, he spent fifteen years at the Jones, Waldo law firm, where he focused on complex civil litigation. Justice Himonas has served as associate presiding judge for the Third District Court and as a member of the Judicial Conduct Commission. He currently leads two task forces, one on licensed paralegal practitioners and another on online dispute resolution.

Justice Himonas has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of Utah law school and was named its 2017 Honorary Alumnus of the Year. He is a Life Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

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Ralph Baxter

Conference Chair
Legal Business Strategy

Ralph served as Chairman & CEO of Orrick for nearly a quarter century, leading the firm as it expanded, diversified and extended its geographic reach, transforming from a domestic firm with California origins to become one of the world’s most prominent global law firms, with more than 1,100 lawyers in 25 offices across the United States, Europe and Asia.

Ralph launched several groundbreaking initiatives that modernized the way Orrick operated and served its clients, including establishing the legal industry’s first on-shore operations center in Wheeling, West Virginia in 2001, affirmatively embracing technology, and instituting non-traditional talent and pricing models, distinguishing the firm as a bold innovator.

The American Lawyer named Ralph one of the “Top 50 Big Law Innovators of the Last 50 Years.” In naming Ralph among the “Most Innovative Managing Partners,” Law360’s editors said Ralph “has left an indelible mark not only on [Orrick]… but also the larger practice by upending traditional career models, rejiggering payment structures and transforming the business of law in many other innovative ways.”

Recognized as one of America’s “100 Most Influential Lawyers” by The National Law Journal, Ralph has long been a frequent speaker on business leadership and the evolution of the legal profession. He is the founder of the Law Firm Leaders Forum, one of the most significant gatherings of law firm leaders that annually examines the critical issues facing the legal profession.

Before becoming Chairman and CEO, Ralph practiced employment law and led Orrick’s highly regarded Employment Law Department, which he founded as a second year associate. He was recognized as one of the “Nation’s Best Litigators in Employment Law” by The National Law Journal, acting as trusted advisor to Fortune 50 clients. During his years as a practicing lawyer, he lectured and wrote extensively on developments in the law, and testified on employment law issues before the California State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Andrew Arruda

CEO & CO-Founder
ROSS Intelligence

Andrew Arruda is a Canadian entrepreneur and attorney. He is Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of the artificial intelligence company ROSS Intelligence, a leader in the legal technology industry. Arruda speaks internationally on the subjects of AI, legal technology, and entrepreneurship and has been featured in publications such as The New York Times, BBC, Wired, CNBC, CBS, Bloomberg, Fortune, Inc., Forbes, TechCrunch, the Washington Post, and the Financial Times. A member of the Forbes 30 under 30 class of 2017, as well as a 2016 TED speaker, Arruda aims to forever change the way legal services are delivered.

Prior to cofounding ROSS Intelligence, Arruda worked at a Toronto litigation boutique and with the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development in Lisbon, Portugal. Arruda is proud to serve on the Board of the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) as well serve as the Subcommittee Chair of the Alternative Business Services and Multi-Disciplinary Practices subcommittee of the State Bar of California’s Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Service (ATILS).

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