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Rule1.1. Competence. ?

A licensed paralegalpractitioner shall provide competent representationto a client. ?Competent representationrequires the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonablynecessary to a) perform the contracted services; and b) determine when thematter should be referred to an attorney.

 

Comment

Legal Knowledge andSkill

[1] In determiningwhether a licensed paralegal practitioner employs the requisite knowledge andskill in a particular matter, relevant factors include the relative complexityand specialized nature of the matter, the licensed paralegal practitioner'sgeneral experience, the licensed paralegal practitioner's training andexperience in the field in question, and whether it is appropriate to refer thematter to, or associate with, a lawyer of established competence in the fieldin question.

[2] A newly admittedlicensed paralegal practitioner can be as competent as a practitioner with longexperience. Perhaps the most fundamental legal skill consists of determiningwhat kind of legal problems a situation may involve, a skill that necessarilytranscends any particular specialized knowledge.

[3] Reserved.

[4] A licensedparalegal practitioner may accept representation in only the fields in whichthe licensed paralegal practitioner is licensed.

Thoroughness andPreparation

[5] Competent handlingof a particular matter includes inquiry into and analysis of the factual andlegal elements of the problem and use of methods and procedures meeting thestandards of competent licensed paralegal practitioners. It also includesadequate preparation. The required? attention and preparation aredetermined in part by what is at stake.

Retaining or ContractingWith Other Licensed Paralegal Practitioners ?

[6] Before a licensedparalegal practitioner retains or contracts with other licensed paralegalpractitioners outside the licensed paralegal practitioner's own firm to provideor assist in the? provisionof legal services to a client, the licensed paralegal practitioner shouldordinarily obtain informed consent from the client and must reasonably believethat the other licensed paralegal practitioners' services will contribute tothe competent and ethical representation of the client.

[7] When licensedparalegal practitioners from more than one firm are providing legal services tothe client on a particular matter, the licensed paralegal practitionersordinarily should consult with each other and the client about the scope oftheir respective representations and the allocation of responsibility amongthem. See Rules 1.2 and 1.4. When making allocations of? responsibility in a matter pendingbefore a tribunal, licensed paralegal practitioners and parties 48 may haveadditional obligations that are a matter of law beyond the scope of theseRules.

Maintaining Competence

[8] To maintain therequisite knowledge and skill, a licensed paralegal practitioner should? keep abreastof changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risksassociated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and educationand comply with all? continuing educationrequirements to which the licensed paralegal practitioner is subject.

 

Effective November 1, 2018