Online legal service marketplaces could take another hit this month from state bar associations’ ethics bodies, igniting debate yet again over their business models and the role of state bar associations in curtailing them.

The Virginia State Bar Council is slated to vote on Oct. 27 on a draft ethics opinion outlining the use of online attorney-client matching services. The opinion, which was approved by the state bar’s Standing Committee on Legal Ethics on Sept. 13, finds that attorney participation in some matching services violates Virginia’s Rules of Professional Conduct.

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