Law Faculty Articles and Research

Multidisciplinary Practice: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Ronald D. Rotunda, Chapman University


Accountants obviously can engage in accounting without practicing law. Yet, when they prepare complex income tax returns and give tax advice regarding complex transactions, there can come a time when the accountant may be said to be applying the law to the specific facts and, in effecting, practicing law.(1) If accountants are found to be "practicing law," it does not matter that they perform their legal services as well as, or even better than, a lawyer in the particular matter,(2) because it has never been a defense to the unauthorized practice of law that the advice rendered is completely competent.