Barkley v. Prommis Solutions Holding Corp. (In re Thorne), 471 B.R. 496, 506 (Bankr. N.D. Miss. 2012) (Houston)

Creditor and its attorney did not illegally share fees in violation of § 504(a) or Rule 2016 when law firm outsourced its nonlawyer employees. $600 fee had been allowed by prior order and was paid by debtors through confirmed plan. Additional fees were paid by Chase Home Finance to professionals, rather than from bankruptcy estate, preventing application of Rule 2016(a). Law firm had sold nonlegal assets to third-party vendor. Firm’s former nonlawyer employees became employees of vendor, and monthly fees paid by firm to third-party vendor were not illegal fee sharing; “It is actually no different from a law firm paying other outside vendors or its own employees and paralegals on a periodic basis from earnings that it manages to collect.” Outsourced paralegal working for vendor was supervised by law firm attorney, using forms prepared by law firm. This procedure was not unauthorized practice of law. Mississippi Rules of Professional Conduct were not violated.

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