3.12 [ABROGATED] Professional Independence of a Lawyer

Text of Rule effective until August 1, 2009.

(a) Dividing Fees With Non-lawyers. A lawyer or law firm shall not share legal fees with a non-lawyer, except that:

(1) An agreement by a lawyer with the lawyer's firm, partner, or associate may provide for the payment of money, over a reasonable period of time after the lawyer's death, to the lawyer's estate or to one or more specified persons.

(2) A lawyer who undertakes to complete unfinished legal business of a deceased lawyer may pay to the estate of the deceased lawyer that proportion of the total compensation which fairly represents the services rendered by the deceased lawyer.

(3) A lawyer or law firm may include non-lawyer employees in a retirement or compensation plan, even though the plan is based in whole or in part upon a profit-sharing arrangement; provided that the amounts paid to non-lawyer employees in addition to fixed salary 1) are not based upon business brought to the law firm by such employees, 2) are not based upon services performed by such employees in a particular case, and 3) do not constitute the greater part of the total remuneration of such employees.

(b) Avoiding Influence by Others. A person who recommends, employs, or pays a lawyer to render legal services for another shall not be permitted by the lawyer to direct or regulate the lawyer's professional judgment in rendering such legal services unless direction or regulation occurs in the course of supervision by another lawyer who participates in the attorney-client relationship with the supervised lawyer.

(c) Partnership With Non-lawyers. A lawyer shall not form a partnership with a non-lawyer if any of the activities of the partnership consist of the practice of law.

(d) Co-ownership With Non-lawyers. A lawyer shall not practice law with or in the form of a corporation, limited liability company or other legal entity authorized to practice law for a profit, if:

(1) a non-lawyer owns any interest therein, except that a fiduciary representative of the estate of a lawyer may hold the stock or interest of the lawyer for a reasonable time during administration;

(2) a non-lawyer is a corporate director or officer thereof; or

(3) a non-lawyer has the right to direct or control the professional judgment of a lawyer.