The president of the American Bar Association said Wednesday that the group is preparing to go to court if it cannot persuade the Federal Trade Commission to exempt lawyers from new regulations to protect against identity theft.

H. Thomas Wells Jr. said in an interview that the New York-based firm Proskauer Rose has signed up to represent the ABA pro bono. The trade commission is scheduled to begin enforcing the regulations Aug. 1, and Wells said the bar association would file a lawsuit by the end of next week if necessary to head off enforcement.

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