Attorneys practicing in the 48 states that bar outside ownership in law firms should be safe making passive investments in legal businesses operating in jurisdictions that have scrapped these prohibitions, according to a new American Bar Association ethics opinion released Wednesday.

The opinion from the ABA’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility follows regulatory reforms in Utah and Arizona, which both now allow either nonlawyer ownership of law firms or the sharing of legal-related fees with nonlawyers. States including California and Florida are also weighing changes to the ABA’s Model Rule 5.4, which has historically stood in the way of fee sharing and outside ownership.

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