In a victory for those who fear federal regulation of the legal profession, the Federal Trade Commission said Wednesday it is delaying enforcement of new rules designed to prevent identity theft.

The American Bar Association has been lobbying for months to have lawyers exempted from the rules, which it says would be burdensome to law firms and set a precedent for federal agencies to place other requirements on lawyers. Last week, outgoing ABA President H. Thomas Wells Jr. said the bar association was preparing a lawsuit to prevent enforcement, which was scheduled to begin Aug. 1.