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Abstract

The issue of the representation of clients in legal or quasi legal proceedings by non-attorneys has been a troubling one. Not only are such services being offered by non-attorneys in the form of transactional services, i.e., advising, drafting deeds and documents, etc., but has spread to actual representation of parties before administrative agencies. Moreover, as more and more disputes are being resolved through alternative dispute mechanisms, such as arbitration, non-attorneys are also representing clients in such proceedings in civil litigation-often involving complex issues and significant sums of money-against other litigants who are usually represented by skilled attorneys. The ABA recently released a Discussion Draft for Comment regarding the extent to which non-lawyers were involved in these proceedings. The draft notes that in certain areas, the amount of legal oversight is sufficient to ensure competence, where in other areas it is in not. The Securities Industry Conference on Arbitration has examined this issue at length and released the report that follows.

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