Print Version
Previous PageFile uploaded: 3/13/2019

Rule 14-802. Authorization to practice law.

(a) Except as set forth in subsections (c) and (d) of this rule, only persons who are
active, licensed members of the Bar in good standing may engage in the practiceof law
in Utah.

(b)For purposes of this rule:

(b)(1)The ?practice of law? is the representation of the interests of another person by
informing, counseling, advising,assisting, advocating for or draftingdocuments for that
person through application of the law and associated legal principles to that person?s
facts and circumstances.

(b)(2)The ?law? is the collective body of declarationsby governmental authorities
that establish a person?s rights, duties, constraints and freedoms and consists primarily
of:

(b)(2)(A) constitutional provisions, treaties, statutes, ordinances, rules, regulations
and similarly enacted declarations; and

(b)(2)(B)decisions, orders and deliberations of adjudicative, legislative and
executive bodies of government that have authorityto interpret, prescribeand
determine a person?s rights, duties, constraints and freedoms.

(b)(3)?Person? includes the plural as well as the singular and legal entities as well as
natural persons.

(c)Exceptions and Exclusions for Licensed Paralegal Practitioners. A person may
be licensed to engage in the limited practice of law in the area or areas of(1) temporary
separation, divorce, parentage, cohabitant abuse, civil stalking, and custody and
support; (2) forcible entry and detainer; and (3) debt collection matters in which the
dollar amount in issue does not exceed the statutory limit for small claims cases.

(c)(1)(A) Within a practice area or areas in which aLicensed Paralegal Practitioner is
licensed, a Licensed Paralegal Practitioner who is in good standingmay represent the
interests of a natural personwho is not represented by a lawyerunaffiliated with the
Licensed Paralegal Practitioner by:

(c)(1)(B) establishing acontractual relationship with the client;

(c)(1)(C) interviewing the client to understand the client?s objectives and obtaining
facts relevant to achieving that objective;

(c)(1)(D)completing forms approved by the Judicial Council;

(c)(1)(E) informing, counseling, advising,and assisting in determining which form to

use and giving advice on howto complete the form;

(c)(1)(F) signing, filing,and completing service of the form;

(c)(1)(G)obtaining, explaining, and filing any document neededto support the form;

(c)(1)(H)reviewing documents of another party and explaining them;

(c)(1)(I)informing, counseling, assisting and advocating for a client in mediated
negotiations;

(c)(1)(J) filling in,signing, filing and completing service of a written settlement
agreement form in conformity with the negotiated agreement;

(c)(1)(K) communicating with anotherparty or the party?s representative regarding
the relevant form and matters reasonably related thereto; and

(c)(1)(L)explaining a court order that affects the client?srights and obligations.

(d) Other Exceptions and Exclusions. Whetheror not it constitutes the practice of
law, the following activity by a non-lawyer, who is not otherwise claimingto be a lawyer
or to be able to practice law, is permitted:

(d)(1) Making legal forms available to the generalpublic, whether by sale or
otherwise, or publishing legal self-help informationby print or electronic media.

(d)(2) Providinggeneral legal information, opinions or recommendations about
possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, procedures, options or strategies,but not
specific advice related to another person?s facts or circumstances.

(d)(3)Providing clerical assistance to another to complete a form provided by a
municipal, state, or federal court located in the State of Utah when no fee is charged to
do so.

(d)(4) When expressly permitted by the court afterhaving found it clearly to be in the
best interests of the child or ward, assisting one?s minor child or ward in ajuvenile
court proceeding.

(d)(5) Representing a party in small claims court as permitted by Rule of SmallClaims Procedure 13.

(d)(6) Representing withoutcompensation a naturalperson or representing a legal
entity as an employee representative of that entity in an arbitration proceeding, where
the amount in controversy does not exceed the jurisdictional limit of the small claims
court set by the Utah Legislature.

(d)(7)Representing a party in any mediation proceeding.

(d)(8)Acting as a representative before administrative tribunals or agencies as

authorized by tribunal oragency rule or practice.

(d)(9)Serving in a neutral capacity as a mediator, arbitrator or conciliator.

(d)(10) Participating in labor negotiations, arbitrations or conciliations arising under collectivebargaining rights or agreements or as otherwise allowed by law.

(d)(11)Lobbying governmental bodies as an agent or representative of others.

(d)(12) Advisingor preparing documentsfor others in the followingdescribed
circumstances and by the following describedpersons:

(d)(12)(A) a real estate agent or broker licensed by the state of Utah may complete State-approved forms including salesand associated contractsdirectly related to the
sale of real estate and personal property for their customers.

(d)(12)(B) an abstractor or title insuranceagent licensed by the state of Utah may
issue real estate title opinions and title reports and prepare deeds for customers.

(d)(12)(C)financial institutions and securities brokers anddealers licensed by Utah
may inform customers with respect to their options for titles of securities,bank accounts, annuities and other investments.

(d)(12)(D)insurance companies and agents licensed by the stateof Utah may
recommend coverage, inform customers with respect to their options for titling of

ownership of insurance and annuity contracts, the naming of beneficiaries, and theadjustment of claims under the company?s insurance coverage outside of litigation.

(d)(12)(E) health care providers may provide clericalassistance to patientsin
completing and executing durable powers of attorneyfor health care and natural deathdeclarations when no fee is charged to do so.

(d)(12)(F) Certified Public Accountants, enrolled IRSagents, public accountants,
public bookkeepers, and tax preparers may prepare tax returns.

 

Advisory Committee Comment:

Subsection (a).

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

 

Subsection (b).

The practice of law defined inSubparagraph (b)(1) includes: giving advice or counselto another

person asto that person's legal rights or responsibilities with respect to that person'sfacts 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 thepreparation or filing of documents and conducting discovery; negotiating legal rights orresponsibilities on behalf of another person.

 

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

 

Similarly, an employee of abusiness entity is not engaged in "the representation of the interest of another person" when activitiesinvolving the law are a part of the employee's duties solely in

connectionwith the internal business operations of the entity and do not involveproviding legal advice to anotherperson. Further, a person acting in an official capacity as an employee of a government agency that has administrativeauthority to determine the rights of persons under the law is also not representing the interests of another person.

 

Asdefined in subparagraph (b)(2), "the law" is a comprehensive term that includesnot only the black-letterlaw set forth in constitutions, treaties, statutes, ordinances, administrativeand court rules and regulations, andsimilar enactments of governmental authorities, but the entire fabric of its development, enforcement,application and interpretation.

 

Laws duly enacted by the electorateby 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 writtenlaw of legislatures and other law- and rule-making bodies. Reference to adjudicative bodies in thissubparagraph includes courts and similar tribunals, arbitrators, administrative agencies and other bodies thatrender judgments or opinions involving a person'sinterests.

 

Subsection (c).

The exceptions for LicensedParalegal Practitioners arise from the November 18, 2015 Report and Recommendation of the Utah SupremeCourt Task Force to Examine Limited Legal Licensing. The Task Force was created to make recommendations to address thelarge number of litigants who are self-representedor forego access to the Utah judicial system because of the high cost ofretaining a lawyer. The Task Forcerecommended that the Utah Supreme Court exercise its constitutional authority to govern the practice of law tocreate a subset of discreet legal services in the practice areas of: (1) temporary separation, divorce,parentage, cohabitant abuse, civil stalking, and custody and support; (2) unlawful detainer andforcible entry and detainer; and (3) debt collection matters in which the dollar amount in issue doesnot exceed the statutory limit for small claims cases. The Task Force determined that these threepractice areas have the highest number of unrepresented litigants in need of low cost legal assistance. Based on theTask Force?s recommendations, the Utah SupremeCourt authorized Licensed Paralegal Practitioners to provide limited legalservices as prescribed in this Ruleand in accordance with the Supreme Court Rules of Professional Practice.

 

Subsection (c)(1)(D)

A Licensed Paralegal Practitionermay complete forms that are approved by the Judicial Council. The Judicial Council approves forms forthe Online Court Assistance Program and for use by the public. The forms approved by the Judicial Council may befound at https://www.utcourts.gov/ocap/ and https://www.utcourts.gov/selfhelp/ .

 

Subsection (d).

To the extent not already addressedby the requirement that the practice of law involves the

representationof others, subparagraph (d)(2) permits the direct and indirect dissemination of legal information in an educationalcontext, such as legal teaching and lectures.

 

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

 

Subparagraph (d)(7)applies only to the procedures directly related to parties' involvement before a neutral third-party mediator; it doesnot extend to any related judicial proceedings unless otherwise provided for under this rule (e.g., undersubparagraph (d)(5)).

 

EffectiveFebruary 1, 2019