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Rule 1.2. Scope of representation and allocation of authoritybetween client and lawyer. Licensed paralegal practitionernotice to be displayed.

 

(a) Subject to paragraphs (c) and (d), a lawyer shall abide by aclient's decisions concerning the objectives of representation and, as requiredby Rule 1.4, shall consult with theclient as to the means by which they are to be pursued. A lawyer may take suchaction on behalf of the client as is impliedly authorized to carry out therepresentation. A lawyer shall abide by a client's decision whether to settle amatter. In a criminal case, the lawyer shall abide by the client's decision, afterconsultation with the lawyer, as to a plea to be entered, whether to waive jurytrial and whether the client will testify.

(b) A lawyer's representation of a client, includingrepresentation by appointment, does not constitute an endorsement of the client'spolitical, economic, social or moral views oractivities.

(c) A lawyer may limit the scope of the representation if thelimitation is reasonable under the circumstances and the client gives informedconsent.

(d) A lawyer shall not counsel a client to engage, or assist aclient, in conduct that the lawyer knows is criminal or fraudulent, but alawyer may discuss the legal consequences of any proposed course of conductwith a client and may counsel or assist a client to make a good faith effort todetermine the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law.

(e) A licensed paralegal practitioner shall conspicuously displayin the licensed paralegal practitioner?s office a notice that shall be at least12 by 20 inches with boldface type or print with each character at least oneinch in height and width that contains a statement that the licensed paralegalpractitioner is not a lawyer licensed to provide legal services withoutlimitation.

Comment

Allocation of Authority between Client and Lawyer

[1] Paragraph (a) confersupon the client the ultimate authority to determine the purposes to be servedby legal representation, within the limits imposed by law and the lawyer'sprofessional obligations. The decisions specified in paragraph (a), such aswhether to settle a civil matter, must also be made by the client. See Rule 1.4(a)(1) forthe lawyer's duty to communicate with the client about such decisions. Withrespect to the means by which the client's objectives are to be pursued, thelawyer shall consult with the client as required by Rule 1.4(a)(2) andmay take such action as is impliedly authorized to carry out therepresentation.

[2] On occasion, however, alawyer and a client may disagree about the means to be used to accomplish theclient's objectives. Clients normally defer to the special knowledge and skillof their lawyer with respect to the means to be used to accomplish theirobjectives, particularly with respect to technical, legal and tactical matters.Conversely, lawyers usually defer to the client regarding such questions as theexpense to be incurred and concern for third persons who might be adverselyaffected. Because of the varied nature of the matters about which a lawyer andclient might disagree and because the actions in question may implicate theinterests of a tribunal or other persons, this Rule does not prescribe how suchdisagreements are to be resolved. Other law, however, may be applicable andshould be consulted by the lawyer. The lawyer should also consult with theclient and seek a mutually acceptable resolution of the disagreement. If suchefforts are unavailing and the lawyer has a fundamental disagreement with theclient, the lawyer may withdraw from the representation. See Rule 1.16(b)(4).Conversely, the client may resolve the disagreement by discharging the lawyer.See Rule 1.16(a)(3).

[3] At the outset of arepresentation, the client may authorize the lawyer to take specific action onthe client's behalf without further consultation. Absent a material change incircumstances and subject to Rule 1.4, a lawyer may rely on suchan advance authorization. The client may, however, revoke such authority at anytime.

[4] In a case in which theclient appears to be suffering diminished capacity, the lawyer's duty to abideby the client's decisions is to be guided by reference to Rule 1.14.

Independence from Client's Views or Activities

[5] Legal representationshould not be denied to people who are unable to afford legal services or whosecause is controversial or the subject of popular disapproval. By the sametoken, representing a client does not constitute approval of the client's viewsor activities.

Agreements Limiting Scope of Representation

[6] The scope of servicesto be provided by a lawyer may be limited by agreement with the client or bythe terms under which the lawyer's services are made available to the client.When a lawyer has been retained by an insurer to represent an insured, forexample, the representation may be limited to matters related to the insurancecoverage. A limited representation may be appropriate because the client haslimited objectives for the representation. In addition, the terms upon whichrepresentation is undertaken may exclude specific means that might otherwise beused to accomplish the client's objectives. Such limitations may excludeactions that the client thinks are too costly or that the lawyer regards asrepugnant or imprudent.

[7] Although this Ruleaffords the lawyer and client substantial latitude to limit the representation,the limitation must be reasonable under the circumstances. If, for example, aclient's objective is limited to securing general information about the law theclient needs in order to handle a common and typically uncomplicated legalproblem, the lawyer and client may agree that the lawyer's services will belimited to a brief telephone consultation. Such a limitation, however, wouldnot be reasonable if the time allotted were not sufficient to yield advice uponwhich the client could rely. Although an agreement for a limited representationdoes not exempt a lawyer from the duty to provide competent representation, thelimitation is a factor to be considered when determining the legal knowledge, skill,thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation.See Rule 1.1.

[8] All agreementsconcerning a lawyer's representation of a client must accord with the Rules ofProfessional Conduct and other law. See, e.g., Rules 1.11.8 and 5.6.

Criminal, Fraudulent and Prohibited Transactions

[9] Paragraph (d) prohibitsa lawyer from knowingly counseling or assisting a client to commit a crime orfraud. This prohibition, however, does not preclude the lawyer from giving anhonest opinion about the actual consequences that appear likely to result froma client's conduct. Nor does the fact that a client uses advice in a course ofaction that is criminal or fraudulent of itself make a lawyer a party to thecourse of action. There is a critical distinction between presenting ananalysis of legal aspects of questionable conduct and recommending the means bywhich a crime or fraud might be committed with impunity.

[10] When the client'scourse of action has already begun and is continuing, the lawyer'sresponsibility is especially delicate. The lawyer is required to avoidassisting the client, for example, by drafting or delivering documents that thelawyer knows are fraudulent or by suggesting how the wrongdoing might beconcealed. A lawyer may not continue assisting a client in conduct that thelawyer originally supposed was legally proper but then discovers is criminal orfraudulent. The lawyer must, therefore, withdraw from the representation of theclient in the matter. See Rule 1.16(a). In some cases, withdrawalalone might be insufficient. It may be necessary for the lawyer to give noticeof the fact of withdrawal and to disaffirm any opinion, document, affirmationor the like. See Rule 4.1.

[11] Where the client is afiduciary, the lawyer may be charged with special obligations in dealings witha beneficiary.

[12] Paragraph (d) applieswhether or not the defrauded party is a party to the transaction. Hence, alawyer must not participate in a transaction to effectuate criminal orfraudulent avoidance of tax liability. Paragraph (d) does not precludeundertaking a criminal defense incident to a general retainer for legalservices to a lawful enterprise. The last clause of paragraph (d) recognizesthat determining the validity or interpretation of a statute or regulation mayrequire a course of action involving disobedience of the statute or regulationor of the interpretation placed upon it by governmental authorities.

[13] If a lawyer comes toknow or reasonably should know that a client expects assistance not permittedby the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law or if the lawyer intends toact contrary to the client's instructions, the lawyer must consult with theclient regarding the limitations on the lawyer's conduct. See Rule 1.4(a)(5).

[14] Lawyers are encouragedto advise their clients that their representations are guided by the UtahStandards of Professionalism and Civility and to provide a copy to their clients.

[14a] This rule differsfrom the ABA Model Rule by adding section (e) which requires licensed paralegalpractitioners to post a conspicuous notice of their limited licensure status.

Effective May 1, 2021