The American Bar Association’s Aug. 10 vote to postpone a decision onallowing lawyers to split fees and form partnerships with nonlawyerprofessionals might seem like the end of the debate for now. In fact,it’s just the beginning.

Florida lawyers are taking the lead in deciding just how that debatewill be framed. For now, it’s go slow. It was the Florida Bar’s idea tohold off on voting until lawyers have more time to study the issue.But that doesn’t mean they are ignoring it. The vote in Atlanta meansthat lawyers have fundamental differences of opinion on what hasalready shaped up to be a defining moment for the profession as itdecides what the legal practice will be in the next millennium. Now,lawyers must tackle how to resolve those differences.