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Rule1.16. Declining or terminating representation.

(a) A licensed paralegalpractitioner shall not represent a client or, where representation hascommenced, shall withdraw from the representation of a client if:

(a)(1) therepresentation will result in violation of the Licensed Paralegal PractitionerRules of Professional Conduct or other law;

(a)(2) thelicensed paralegal practitioner?s physical or mental condition materiallyimpairs the licensed paralegal practitioner?s ability to represent theclient; or

(a)(3) thelicensed paralegal practitioner is discharged.

(b) A licensed paralegalpractitioner may withdraw from representing a client if:

(b)(1) withdrawalcan be accomplished without material adverse effect on the interests of theclient;

(b)(2) theclient persists in a course of action involving the licensed paralegalpractitioner?s services that the licensed paralegal practitioner reasonably believes is criminal or fraudulent;

(b)(3) theclient has used the licensed paralegal practitioner?s services to perpetrate acrime or fraud;

(b)(4) theclient insists upon taking action that the licensed paralegal practitionerconsiders repugnant or with which the licensed paralegal practitioner has afundamental disagreement;

(b)(5) theclient fails substantially to fulfill an obligation to the licensed paralegalpractitioner regarding the licensed paralegal practitioner?s services and hasbeen given reasonable warning that the licensed paralegal practitioner willwithdraw unless the obligation is fulfilled;

(b)(6) therepresentation will result in an unreasonable financial burden on the licensedparalegal practitioner or has been rendered unreasonably difficult by theclient;  or

(b)(7) othergood cause for withdrawal exists.

(c) Reserved.

(d) Upon termination ofrepresentation, a licensed paralegal practitioner shall take steps to theextent reasonably practicable to protect a client?s interests, such asgiving reasonable notice to the client, allowing time for employment ofother counsel, surrendering papers and property to which the client is entitledand refunding any advance payment of fee or expense that has not been earned orincurred. The licensed paralegal practitioner must provide, upon request, theclient?s file to the client. The licensed paralegal practitioner mayreproduce and retain copies of the client file at the licensed paralegalpractitioner?s expense.

 

Comment

[1] A licensed paralegal practitioner should not acceptrepresentation in a matter unless it can be performed competently, promptly,without improper conflict of interest and to completion. Ordinarily, arepresentation in a matter is completed when the agreed upon assistance hasbeen concluded. See Rules 1.2(c) and 6.5. See also Rule 1.3, Comment 4.

Mandatory Withdrawal

[2] A licensed paralegal practitioner ordinarily must decline orwithdraw from representation if the client demands that the licensed paralegalpractitioner engage in conduct that is illegal or violates the LicensedParalegal Practitioner Rules of Professional Conduct or other law. The licensedparalegal practitioner is not obliged to decline or withdraw simply because theclient suggests such a course of conduct; a client may make such a suggestionin the hope that a licensed paralegal practitioner will not be constrained by aprofessional obligation.

[3] Reserved.

Discharge

[4] A client has a right to discharge a licensed paralegalpractitioner at any time, with or without cause, subject to liability forpayment for the licensed paralegal practitioner?s services. Where futuredispute about the withdrawal may be anticipated, it may be advisable to preparea written statement reciting the circumstances.

[5] Reserved.

[6] If the client has severely diminished capacity, the client maylack the legal capacity to discharge the licensed paralegal practitioner, andin any event the discharge may be seriously adverse to the client?s interests.The licensed paralegal practitioner should make special effort to help theclient consider the consequences and may take reasonably necessary protectiveaction as provided in Rule 1.14.

Optional Withdrawal

[7] A licensed paralegal practitioner may withdraw from representationin some circumstances. The licensed paralegal practitioner has the option towithdraw if it can be accomplished without material adverse effect on theclient?s interests. Withdrawal is also justified if the client persists in acourse of action that the licensed paralegal practitioner reasonably believesis criminal or fraudulent, for a licensed paralegal practitioner is notrequired to be associated with such conduct even if the licensed paralegalpractitioner does not further it. Withdrawal is also permitted if the licensedparalegal practitioner's services were misused in the past even if that wouldmaterially prejudice the client. The licensed paralegal practitioner may alsowithdraw where the client insists on taking action that the licensed paralegalpractitioner considers repugnant or with which the licensed paralegalpractitioner has a fundamental disagreement.

[8] A licensed paralegal practitioner may withdraw if the clientrefuses to abide by the terms of an agreement relating to the representation,such as an agreement concerning fees or court costs or an agreement limitingthe objectives of the representation.

Assisting the Client Upon Withdrawal

[9] Even if the licensed paralegal practitioner has been unfairlydischarged by the client, a licensed paralegal practitioner must take allreasonable steps to mitigate the consequences to the client. Upon terminationof representation, a licensed paralegal practitioner shall provide, uponrequest, the client?s file to the client notwithstanding any other law. It isimpossible to set forth one all encompassingdefinition of what constitutes the client file. However, the client filegenerally would include the following: all papers and property the clientprovides to the licensed paralegal practitioner; litigation materials such aspleadings, motions, discovery, and legal memoranda; all correspondence;depositions; expert opinions; business records; exhibits or potential evidence;and witness statements. The client file generally would not include the following:the licensed paralegal practitioner's work product such as recorded mentalimpressions; research notes; legal theories; internal memoranda; and unfiledpleadings.

 

Effective November 1, 2018