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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 in goodstanding may engage in the practice of law

in Utah.

(b) For purposes of this rule:

(b)(1) The ?practice of law? is therepresentation of the interests of another person by

informing, counseling, advising, assisting,advocating for or drafting documents for that

person through application of the law andassociated legal principles to that person?s

facts and circumstances.

(b)(2) The ?law?is the collective body of declarations by governmental authorities

that establish a person?s rights, duties,constraints and freedoms and consists primarily

of:

(b)(2)(A) constitutionalprovisions, 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 haveauthority to interpret, prescribe and

determine a person?s rights, duties,constraints and freedoms.

(b)(3) ?Person? includes the plural as well as the singularand legal entitiesas well as

natural persons.

(c) Exceptions and Exclusions forLicensed Paralegal Practitioners. A person may

be licensed to engage in the limitedpractice of law in the area or areas of (1) temporary

separation, divorce, parentage, cohabitantabuse, civil stalking, and custodyand

support; (2) forcibleentry and detainer;and (3) debt collection matters in which the

dollar amount in issue does not exceed thestatutory limit for small claims cases.

(c)(1)(A) Within a practicearea or areas in which a LicensedParalegal Practitioner is

licensed, a LicensedParalegal Practitioner who is in good standing may representthe

interests of a natural person who is notrepresented by a lawyer unaffiliated withthe

Licensed Paralegal Practitioner by:

(c)(1)(B) establishing a contractual 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) completingforms approved by the Judicial Council;

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

use and giving advice on how to completethe form;

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

(c)(1)(G) obtaining, explaining, and filing any documentneeded to supportthe form;

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

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

negotiations;

(c)(1)(J) fillingin, signing, filing and completing service of a written settlement

agreement form in conformity with thenegotiated agreement;

(c)(1)(K) communicating with another party or the party?s representative regarding

the relevant form and matters reasonablyrelated thereto; and

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

(d)Other Exceptions and Exclusions. Whetheror not it constitutes the practice of

law, the following activity by anon-lawyer, who is not otherwise claiming to be a lawyer

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-helpinformation by print or electronic media.

(d)(2) Providing general legal information, opinions or recommendations about

possible legal rights, remedies, defenses,procedures, options or strategies, but not

specific advice related to another person?sfacts or circumstances.

(d)(3) Providing clerical assistanceto another to complete a form provided by a

municipal, state, or federal court located inthe State of Utah when no fee ischarged to

do so.

(d)(4) Whenexpressly permitted by the court after having found it clearly to 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 permittedby Rule of Small

Claims Procedure 13.

(d)(6) Representing withoutcompensation a natural person or representinga legal

entity asan employee representative of that entity in an arbitration proceeding, where

the amount in controversy does not exceedthe 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 representativebefore administrative tribunals or agenciesas

authorized by tribunal or agency rule or practice.

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

(d)(10) Participating in labornegotiations, arbitrations or conciliations arising under

collective bargaining rights or agreements oras otherwise allowed by law.

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

(d)(12) Advising or preparingdocuments for others in the following described

circumstances and by the following described persons:

(d)(12)(A) a real estate agent or broker licensedby the state of Utah may complete

State-approved forms including salesand associated contracts directly related tothe

sale of real estate and personal propertyfor their customers.

(d)(12)(B) anabstractor or title insurance agent licensed by the state of Utah may

issue real estate title opinions and titlereports and prepare deeds for customers.

(d)(12)(C) financialinstitutions and securities brokers and dealers licensed by Utah

may inform customers with respectto their optionsfor titles of securities, bank accounts,

annuities and other investments.

(d)(12)(D) insurancecompanies and agents licensed by the state of Utah may

recommend coverage, inform customers withrespect to their options for titling of

ownership of insurance and annuity contracts,the naming of beneficiaries, and the

adjustment of claims under the company?sinsurance coverage outside of litigation.

(d)(12)(E) healthcare providers may provide clerical assistance to patients in

completing andexecuting durable powers of attorneyfor health care and naturaldeath

declarations when no fee is charged to do so.

(d)(12)(F) Certified PublicAccountants, enrolled IRS agents, public accountants,

public bookkeepers, and tax preparers mayprepare tax returns.

 

Advisory Committee Comment:

Subsection (a).

"Active" in this paragraphrefers to the formal statusof a lawyer, as determined by the Bar. Amongother things, an active lawyermust comply with theBar's requirements for continuing legaleducation.

 

Subsection (b).

Thepractice of law defined in Subparagraph (b)(1)includes: giving adviceor counsel to anotherperson as to that person'slegal 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 personbefore an adjudicative, legislative or executive body, including the preparation or filing of documents and conducting discovery; negotiating legal rights or responsibilities on behalf ofanother person.

Because representing oneself does not involveanother person, it is not technically the "practice of law." Thus, any naturalperson may represent oneself as an individual in any legalcontext. To the same effect isArticle 1, Rule 14-111 Integration and Management: "Nothing in thisarticle shall prohibit a person who is unlicensed as an attorneyat law or a foreignlegal consultant frompersonally representing that person'sown interests in a cause to whichthe person is a party in his or her ownright and not as assignee."

Similarly, an employee of a businessentity is not engaged in "the representation of the interestof another person" when activities involving the law are a part ofthe employee's duties solely in connection with the internalbusiness operations of the entityand do not involve providing legal advice toanother person. Further, a person acting in an official capacity as an employeeof a government agency that has administrative authority to determinethe rights of persons underthe 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, applicationand interpretation.

Lawsduly enacted by theelectorate by initiative and referendum under constitutional authoritywould be included under subparagraph (b)(2)(A).

Subparagraph (b)(2)(B) is intendedto 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 thissubparagraph includes courts and similar tribunals, arbitrators, administrative agencies and other bodies thatrender judgments or opinions involving a person'sinterests.

Subsection (c).

Theexceptions for LicensedParalegal Practitioners arisefrom the November18, 2015 Reportand Recommendation of the Utah SupremeCourt Task Force to ExamineLimited Legal Licensing. The Task Force was created to make recommendations to address the large numberof litigants who are self-represented or forego accessto the Utah judicial systembecause of the high cost of retaining a lawyer. The Task Force recommended that the Utah SupremeCourt exercise its constitutional authorityto govern the practice of law to create 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 and forcible entry and detainer; and (3) debt collection mattersin which the dollaramount in issue does not exceed the statutory limit for small claims cases.The Task Force determined that these three practice areas have the highest numberof unrepresented litigants in need of low cost legal assistance. Based on the Task Force?srecommendations, the UtahSupreme Court authorized LicensedParalegal Practitioners to provide limitedlegal services as prescribed in this

Rule and inaccordance with the Supreme Court Rules of Professional Practice.

Subsection (c)(1)(D)

A Licensed Paralegal Practitioner may completeforms that are approved by the JudicialCouncil and that are related to the limited scope of practice of lawdescribed in Subpart (c) of this rule. TheJudicial Council approvesforms for the Online ConsumerAssistance Program and for use by the public.The forms approved by the Judicial Councilmay be found at https://www.utcourts.gov/ocap/ and https://www.utcourts.gov/selfhelp/ .

Subsection (d).

Tothe extent not already addressed by the requirement that the practiceof law involves the representation of others, subparagraph (d)(2)permits the directand indirect dissemination of legal informationin an educational context, such as legal teaching and lectures.

Subparagraph (d)(3)permits assistance providedby employees of the courtsand legal-aid and similarorganizations that do not charge for providing these services.

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

 


Effective May 1, 2019