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Rule 14-802. Authorizationto 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 ingood standing may engage in the practice of law in Utah.

(b) For purposes of this rule:

(b)(1) The ?practice of law? is the representation of theinterests of another person by informing,counseling, advising, assisting, advocating for or drafting documents for that person throughapplication of the law and associated legal principles to that person?s factsand circumstances.

(b)(2) The ?law? is the collective body of declarations bygovernmental authorities that establisha person?s rights, duties, constraints and freedoms and consists primarily of:

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

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

(b)(3) ?Person? includesthe plural as well as the singularand legal entitiesas well as natural persons.

(c) Exceptions and Exclusions for Licensed ParalegalPractitioners. A person maybe licensed to engage in the limited practiceof law in the area or areas of (1) temporary separation, divorce, parentage, cohabitant abuse,civil stalking, and custody and support; (2) forcibleentry and detainer and unlawful detainer; or (3) debt collection mattersin which the dollar amountin issue does notexceed the statutory limit for small claims cases.

(c)(1)(A) Within a practice area or areas in which a LicensedParalegal Practitioner is licensed, a LicensedParalegal Practitioner who is in good standingmay represent the interests of a natural person who is not represented by a lawyer unaffiliated with the LicensedParalegal Practitioner by:

(c)(1)(B) establishing a contractualrelationship with the client;

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

(c)(1)(D) completing an approved form;

(c)(1)(E) informing, counseling, advising,and assisting in determining which form to use and giving advice on how to complete the form;

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

(c)(1)(G) obtaining, explaining, andfiling any document needed to support the form;

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

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

(c)(1)(J) filling in, signing,filing and completingservice of a written settlement agreement form in conformitywith the negotiated agreement;

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

(c)(1)(L) explaining a court orderthat affects the client?s rights 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 claiming to be alawyer or to be able to practice law, is permitted:

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

(d)(2) Providing generallegal information, opinionsor recommendations aboutpossible legal rights, remedies, defenses, procedures, optionsor strategies, but not specificadvice related to another person?s facts or circumstances.

(d)(3) Providing clerical assistance to another to complete aform 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 after having found it clearlyto be in the best interests of the child or ward,assisting one?s minor child or ward in a juvenile court proceeding.

(d)(5) Representing a party in small claims court as permitted by Rule of Small Claims

Procedure 13.

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

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

(d)(8) Acting as a representative before administrative tribunals or agencies as authorized by tribunal or agency 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 collective bargaining rights oragreements or as otherwise allowed by law.

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

(d)(12) Advising or preparing documents for others in thefollowing described circumstances andby the following described persons:

(d)(12)(A) a real estate agent orbroker licensed by the state of Utah may complete State-

approved forms includingsales and associatedcontracts directly related to the sale of real estate

and personalproperty for their customers.

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

(d)(12)(C) financial institutions and securities brokersand dealers licensedby Utah may inform customers with respect to their options for titles of securities, bank accounts, annuitiesand other investments.

(d)(12)(D) insurance companies andagents licensed by the state of Utah may recommend

coverage, inform customers with respect totheir options for titling of ownership of insurance and

annuity contracts, the naming ofbeneficiaries, and the adjustment of claims under the company?s

insurance coverageoutside of litigation.

(d)(12)(E) health care providersmay provide clericalassistance to patientsin completing and executing durable powers of attorney for health care and natural death declarations when no fee is charged to do so.

(d)(12)(F) Certified PublicAccountants, enrolled IRS agents, publicaccountants, public bookkeepers,and tax preparers may prepare tax returns.

 

Effective November 1, 2018

 

 

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Advisory Committee Note

Subsection (a).

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

Subsection(b).

The practiceof law defined in Subparagraph (b)(1) includes: giving advice or counsel toanother person as to that person's legal rights or responsibilities withrespect to that person's facts and circumstances; selecting, drafting orcompleting legal documents that affect the legal rights or responsibilities ofanother person; representing another person before an adjudicative, legislativeor executive body, including the preparation or filing of documents andconducting discovery; negotiating legal rights or responsibilities on behalf ofanother person.

Becauserepresenting oneself does not involve another person, it is not technically the"practice of law." Thus, any natural person may represent oneself asan individual in any legal context. To the same effect isArticle 1, Rule 14-111 Integration and Management: "Nothing in thisarticle shall prohibit a person who is unlicensed as an attorney at law or aforeign 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 andnot as assignee."

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

As defined insubparagraph (b)(2), "the law" is a comprehensive term that includesnot only the black-letter law set forth in constitutions, treaties, statutes,ordinances, administrative and court rules and regulations, and similarenactments of governmental authorities, but the entire fabric of itsdevelopment, enforcement, application and interpretation.

Laws dulyenacted by the electorate by initiative and referendum under constitutionalauthority would be included under subparagraph (b)(2)(A).

Subparagraph (b)(2)(B)is intended to incorporate the breadth of decisional law, as well as thebackground, such as committee hearings, floor discussions and other legislativehistory, that often accompanies the written law of legislatures and other law-and rule-making bodies.

Reference toadjudicative bodies in this subparagraph includes courts and similar tribunals,arbitrators, administrative agencies and other bodies that render judgments oropinions involving a person's interests.

Subsection(c).

The exceptionsfor Licensed Paralegal Practitioners arise from the November 18, 2015 Reportand Recommendation of the Utah Supreme Court Task Force to Examine LimitedLegal Licensing. The Task Force was created to make recommendations to addressthe large number of

litigants who are self represented or forego access to theUtah judicial system because of the highcost of retaining a lawyer. The Task Force recommended that the Utah SupremeCourt 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, andcustody and support; (2) forcible entry and detainer and unlawful detainer; and(3) debt collection matters in which the dollar amount in issue does not exceedthe statutory limit for small claims cases. The Task Force determined thatthese three practice areas have the highest number of unrepresented litigantsin need of low cost legal assistance. Based on the Task Force?srecommendations, the Utah Supreme Court authorized Licensed ParalegalPractitioners to provide limited legal services as prescribed in this Rule andin accordance with the Supreme Court Rules of Professional Practice.

Subsection (d).

To the extentnot already addressed by the requirement that the practice of law involves therepresentation of others, subparagraph (d)(2) permitsthe 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 thecourts and legal-aid and similar organizations that do not charge for providingthese services.

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