Rule 14-802

Advisory Committee Comment:

Subsection (a).

"Active" in this paragraph refers to the formal status of a lawyer, as determined by the Bar. Among other things, an active lawyer must comply with the Bar's requirements for continuing legal education.

Subsection (b).

The practice of law defined in Subparagraph (b)(1) includes: giving advice or counsel to another person as to that person's legal rights or responsibilities with respect to that person's facts and circumstances; selecting, drafting or completing legal documents that affect the legal rights or responsibilities of another person; representing another person before an adjudicative, legislative or executive body, including the preparation or filing of documents and conducting discovery; negotiating legal rights or responsibilities on behalf of another person.

Because representing oneself does not involve another person, it is not technically the "practice of law." Thus, any natural person may represent oneself as an individual in any legal context. To the same effect is Article 1, Rule 14-111 Integration and Management: "Nothing in this article shall prohibit a person who is unlicensed as an attorney at law or a foreign legal consultant from personally representing that person's own interests in a cause to which the person is a party in his or her own right and not as assignee."

Similarly, an employee of a business entity is not engaged in "the representation of the interest of another person" when activities involving the law are a part of the employee's duties solely in connection with the internal business operations of the entity and do not involve providing legal advice to another person. Further, a person acting in an official capacity as an employee of a government agency that has administrative authority to determine the rights of persons under the law is also not representing the interests of another person.

As defined in subparagraph (b)(2), "the law" is a comprehensive term that includes not only the black-letter law set forth in constitutions, treaties, statutes, ordinances, administrative and court rules and regulations, and similar enactments of governmental authorities, but the entire fabric of its development, enforcement, application and interpretation.

Laws duly enacted by the electorate by initiative and referendum under constitutional authority would be included under subparagraph (b)(2)(A).

Subparagraph (b)(2)(B) is intended to incorporate the breadth of decisional law, as well as the background, such as committee hearings, floor discussions and other legislative history, that often accompanies the written law of legislatures and other law- and rule-making bodies. Reference to adjudicative bodies in this subparagraph includes courts and similar tribunals, arbitrators, administrative agencies and other bodies that render judgments or opinions involving a person's interests.

Subsection (c).

To the extent not already addressed by the requirement that the practice of law involves the representation of others, subparagraph (c)(2) permits the direct and indirect dissemination of legal information in an educational context, such as legal teaching and lectures.

Subparagraph (c)(3) permits assistance provided by employees of the courts and legal-aid and similar organizations that do not charge for providing these services.

Subparagraph (c)(7) applies only to the procedures directly related to parties' involvement before a neutral third-party mediator; it does not extend to any related judicial proceedings unless otherwise provided for under this rule (e.g., under subparagraph (c)(5)).