William McKee is the first to say that he initially questioned whether Ernst & Young could legally have such a close relationship to a law firm.

Statutes in the District and in all states prohibit the unauthorized practice of law. In other words, only lawyers can practice – tax accountants or business consultants like those employed by Ernst & Young may not. Also, legal ethics rules require that lawyers maintain their professional independence, and the Ernst & Young deal pushes McKee Nelson Ernst & Young close to that line.

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