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Rule1.6. Confidentiality ofinformation.

(a)  A licensed paralegal practitionershall not reveal information relating to the representation of a client unlessthe client gives informed consent, thedisclosure is authorized in order to carry out the representation or thedisclosure is permitted by paragraph (b).

(b)  A licensed paralegal practitioner mayreveal information relating to the representation of a client to the extent thelicensed paralegal practitioner reasonably believes necessary:

(b)(1)to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm;

(b)(2)to prevent the client from committing a crime or fraud that is reasonably certain

toresult in substantial injury to the financial interest orproperty of another and in

furtherance ofwhich the client has used the licensed paralegal practitioner?s services;

(b)(3)to prevent, mitigate or rectify substantial injury to the financial interests orproperty of another that is reasonably certain to result or has resulted fromthe client?s commission of a crime or fraud in furtherance of which the client hasused the licensed paralegal practitioner?s services;

(b)(4)to secure legal advice about the licensed paralegalpractitioner?s compliance with these Rules;

(b)(5)to establish a claim or defense on behalf of thelicensed paralegal practitioner in a controversy between the licensed paralegalpractitioner and the client, to establish a

defense to a criminal chargeor civil claim against the licensed paralegal practitioner based upon conductin which the client was involved, or to respond to allegations in any

proceedingconcerning the licensed paralegal practitioner?s representation of the client;

(b)(6)to comply with other law or a court order; or

(b)(7)to detect and resolve conflicts of interest arisingfrom the licensed paralegal practitioner?s change of employment or from changesin the composition or ownership of a
firm, but only if the revealed information would not compromise the licensedparalegal
practitioner ― client privilege or otherwise prejudice the client.

(c)  A licensed paralegal practitionershall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorizeddisclosure of, or unauthorized access to, information relating to therepresentation of a client.

Comment
[1] ThisRule governs the disclosure by a licensed paralegal practitioner of information

relating tothe representation of a client during the licensed paralegal practitioner?s

representation ofthe client. See Rule 1.18 for the licensed paralegal practitioner?s duties
with respectto information providedto the licensed paralegal practitioner by a prospective
client,Rule 1.9(c)(2) for the licensed paralegal practitioner?s duty not to reveal information
relatingto the licensed paralegal practitioner?s prior representation of a formerclient and
Rules1.8(b) and 1.9(c)(1) for the licensed paralegal practitioner?s duties withrespect to
theuse of such information to the disadvantage of clients and former clients.

[2] Afundamental principle in the licensed paralegal practitioner-client relationshipis

that, in the absence of the client?sinformed consent, the licensed paralegal practitioner

must not reveal information relating tothe representation. See Rule 1.0(f) for the definition

of informed consent. This contributes tothe trust that is the hallmark of the client-licensed paralegal practitioner relationship.

[3] Theprinciple of licensed paralegal practitioner-client confidentiality is giveneffect

by related bodies of law including thelicensed paralegal practitioner-client privilege, the

work product doctrine and the rule ofconfidentiality established in professional ethics. The attorney-clientprivilege and work product doctrine apply in judicial and other proceedings

in which a licensed paralegalpractitioner may be called as a witness or otherwise required

to produce evidence concerning a client.The rule of licensed paralegal practitioner-client confidentiality applies insituations other than those where evidence is sought from the

licensed paralegal practitioner throughcompulsion of law. The confidentiality rule, for

example, applies not only to matterscommunicated in confidence by the client but also to

all information relating to therepresentation, whatever its source. A licensed paralegal practitioner may notdisclose such information except as authorized or required by the

Licensed ParalegalPractitioner Rules of Professional Conduct or other law. See also Scope.

[4] Paragraph(a) prohibits a licensed paralegal practitioner from revealing informationrelating to the representation of a client. This prohibition also applies todisclosures by a

licensed paralegal practitioner that do not inthemselves reveal protected information but

could reasonably lead to the discovery ofsuch information by a third person. A licensed paralegal practitioner?s use ofa hypothetical to discuss issues relating to the

representation is permissible so long as there is noreasonable likelihood that the listener

will be able to ascertain the identity ofthe client or the situation involved.

AuthorizedDisclosure

[5] Except tothe extent that the client?s instructions or special circumstances limit thatauthority, a licensed paralegal practitioner is impliedly authorized to makedisclosures

about a client when appropriate in carryingout the representation. In some situations, for example, a licensed paralegalpractitioner may be impliedly authorized to admit a fact that cannot properlybe disputed or to make a disclosure that facilitates a satisfactory
conclusion to a matter. Licensed paralegal practitioners in a firm may, in thecourse of the
firm's practice, disclose to each other information relating to a client of thefirm, unless the
client has instructed that particular information be confined to specifiedlicensed paralegal
practitioners.

DisclosureAdverse to Client

[6] Althoughthe public interest is usually best served by a strict rule requiring licensed
paralegal practitioners to preserve the confidentiality of information relatingto the
representation of their clients, the confidentiality rule is subject to limitedexceptions.
Paragraph (b)(1) recognizes the overriding value oflife and physical integrity and permits disclosure reasonably necessary toprevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily
harm. Such harm is reasonably certain to occur if it will be sufferedimminently or if there
is a present and substantial threat that a person will suffer such harm at alater date if the licensed paralegal practitioner fails to take actionnecessary to eliminate the threat.

[7]Paragraph (b)(2) is a limited exception to the rule ofconfidentiality that permits the licensed paralegal practitioner to revealinformation to the extent necessary to enable

affected persons or appropriate authorities toprevent the client from committing a crime

or fraud, as defined in Rule 1.0(e),that is reasonably certain to result in substantial injury

to the financial or property interestsof another and in furtherance of which the client has

used or is using the licensed paralegalpractitioner?s services. Such a serious abuse of the

client-licensed paralegal practitioner relationshipby the client forfeits the protection of

this Rule. The client can, of course,prevent such disclosure by refraining from thewrongful conduct. Although paragraph (b)(2)does not require the licensed paralegal practitioner to

reveal the client?s misconduct, the licensedparalegal practitioner may not counsel or assist

the client in conduct the licensedparalegal practitioner knows is criminal or fraudulent.

See Rule 1.2(d). See also Rule 1.16with respect to the licensed paralegal practitioner?s obligation or right towithdraw from the representation of the client in such circumstances.

[8] Paragraph(b)(3) addresses the situation in which the licensedparalegal

practitioner does not learn of the client?s crimeor fraud until after it has been

consummated. Although the client no longer hasthe option of preventing disclosure by

refraining from the wrongful conduct, there willbe situations in which the loss suffered by

the affected person can be prevented,rectified or mitigated. In such situations, the licensed
paralegal practitioner may disclose information relating to the representationto the extent necessary to enable the affected persons to prevent or mitigatereasonably certain losses or

to attempt to recoup their losses.

[9] Alicensed paralegal practitioner?s confidentiality obligations do not preclude alicensed paralegal practitioner from securing confidential legal advice aboutthe licensed paralegal practitioner?s personal responsibility to comply withthese Rules. In most
situations, disclosing information to secure such advice will be impliedlyauthorized for the licensedparalegal practitioner to carry out the representation. Even when thedisclosure is
not impliedly authorized, paragraph (b)(4) permitssuch disclosure because of the
importance of a licensed paralegal practitioner?s compliance with the LicensedParalegal
Practitioner Rules of Professional Conduct.

[10] Wherea legal claim or disciplinary charge alleges complicity of the licensed
paralegal practitioner in a client?s conduct or other misconduct of thelicensed paralegal practitioner involving representation of the client, thelicensed paralegal practitioner may
respond to the extent the licensed paralegal practitioner reasonably believesnecessary to establish a defense. The same is true with respect to a claiminvolving the conduct or representation of a former client. Such a charge canarise in a civil, criminal, disciplinary or
other proceeding and can be based on a wrong allegedly committed by thelicensed
paralegal practitioner against the client or on a wrong alleged by a thirdperson, for
example, a person claiming to have been defrauded by the licensed paralegalpractitioner
and client acting together. The licensed paralegal practitioner?s right torespond arises
when an assertion of such complicity has been made. Paragraph (b)(5) does notrequire the licensed paralegal practitioner to await the commencement of anaction or proceeding that charges such complicity, so that the defense may be establishedby responding directly to a
third party who has made such an assertion. The right to defend also applies,of course,
where a proceeding has been commenced.

[11] Alicensed paralegal practitioner entitled to a fee is permitted by paragraph (b)(5)
to prove the services rendered in an action to collect it. This aspect of therule expresses
the principle that the beneficiary of a fiduciary relationship may not exploitit to the
detriment of the fiduciary.

[12] Other law may require that alicensed paralegal practitioner disclose information
about a client. Whether such a law supersedes Rule 1.6 is a question of lawbeyond the
scope of these Rules. When disclosure of information relating to therepresentation appears
to be required by other law, the licensed paralegal practitioner must discussthe matter
with the client to the extent required by Rule 1.4. If, however, the other lawsupersedes this
Rule and requires disclosure, paragraph (b)(6) permitsthe licensed paralegal practitioner
to make such disclosures as are necessary to comply with the law.

Detectionof Conflicts of lnterest

[13]Paragraph (b)(7) recognizes that licensed paralegalpractitioners in different firms
may need to disclose limited information to each other to detect and resolveconflicts of
interest, such as when a licensed paralegal practitioner is considering anassociation with
another firm, two or more firms are considering a merger, or a licensedparalegal
practitioner is considering the purchase of a licensed paralegal practice. SeeRule 1.17,
Comment [7]. Under these circumstances, licensed paralegal practitioners andlaw firms
are permitted to disclose limited information, but only once substantivediscussions
regarding the new relationship have occurred. Any such disclosure shouldordinarily
include no more than the identity of the persons and entities involved in amatter, a brief
summary of the general issues involved, and information about whether thematter has
terminated. Even this limited information, however, should be disclosed only tothe extent reasonably necessary to detect and resolve conflicts of interestthat might arise from the
possible new relationship. Moreover, the disclosure of any information isprohibited if it
would compromise the licensed paralegal practitioner-client privilege orotherwise
prejudice the client (e.g., the fact that a person has consulted a licensedparalegal
practitioner about the possibility of divorce before the person's intentionsare known to
the person's spouse). Under those circumstances, paragraph (a) prohibitsdisclosure unless
the client or former client gives informed consent. A licensed paralegalpractitioner's
fiduciary duty to the licensed paralegal practitioner's firm may also govern alicensed
paralegal practitioner's conduct when exploring an association with anotherfirm and is
beyond the scope of these Rules.

[14] Anyinformation disclosed pursuant to paragraph (b)(7) maybe used or further disclosed only to the extentnecessary to detect and resolveconflicts of interest.Paragraph (b)(7) does not restrict the use ofinformation acquired by means independent to any
disclosure pursuant to paragraph (b)(7). Paragraph (b)(7)also does not affect the
disclosure of information within a law firm when the disclosure is otherwiseauthorized,
see Comment [5], such as when a licensed paralegal practitioner in a firmdiscloses
information to another licensed paralegal practitioner in the same firm todetect and
resolve conflicts of interest that could arise in connection with undertaking anew
representation.

[15] Alicensed paralegal practitioner may be ordered to reveal information relatingto
the representation of a client by a court or by another tribunal orgovernmental entity
claiming authority pursuant to other law to compel the disclosure. Absentinformed
consent of the client to do otherwise, the licensed paralegal practitionershould assert on
behalf of the client all nonfrivolous claims that theorder is not authorized by other law or
that the information sought is protected against disclosure by theattorney-client privilege
or other applicable law. In the event of an adverse ruling, the licensedparalegal
practitioner must consult with the client about the availability of appeal andrefer the client
to an attorney to the extent required by Rule 1.4. Unless review is sought,however,
paragraph (b)(6) permits the licensed paralegalpractitioner to comply with the court?s
order.

[16] Paragraph(b) permits disclosure only to the extent the licensed paralegal
practitioner reasonably believes the disclosure is necessary to accomplish oneof the
purposes specified. Where practicable, the licensed paralegal practitionershould first seek
to persuade the client to take suitable action to obviate the need fordisclosure. In any case,
a disclosure adverse to the client?s interest should be no greater than thelicensed paralegal practitioner reasonably
believesnecessary to accomplish the purpose. If the disclosure will
be made in connection with a judicial proceeding, the disclosure should be madein a
manner that limits access to the information to the tribunal or other personshaving a need
to know it and appropriate protective orders or other arrangements should besought by
the licensed paralegal practitioner to the fullest extent practicable.

[17] Paragraph(b) permits but does not require the disclosure of information relating
to a client?s representation to accomplish the purposes specified in paragraphs(b)(1)
through (b)(7). In exercising the discretion conferred by this Rule, thelicensed paralegal practitioner may consider such factors as the nature of thelicensed paralegal practitioner?s relationship with the client and with thosewho might be injured by the client, the licensed paralegal practitioner?s owninvolvement in the transaction and factors that may extenuate
the conduct in question. A licensed paralegal practitioner?s decision not todisclose as
permitted by paragraph (b) does not violate this Rule. Disclosure may berequired,
however, by other rules. Some rules require disclosure only if such disclosurewould be permitted by paragraph (b). See Rules 4.1(b), 8.1 and 8.3. Rule 3.3,on the other hand,
requires disclosure in some circumstances regardless of whether such disclosureis
permitted by this Rule. See Rule 3.3.

ActingCompetently to Preserve Confidentiality

[18] Paragraph(c) requires a licensed paralegal practitioner to act competently to
safeguard information relating to the representation of a client againstunauthorized access
by third parties and against inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure by thelicensed
paralegal practitioner or other persons who are participating in therepresentation of the
client or who are subject to the licensed paralegal practitioner?s supervision.See Rules 1.1,
?5.1 and 5.3. The unauthorized access to,or the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of, information relating to therepresentation of a client does not constitute a violation of
paragraph (c) if the licensed paralegal practitioner has made reasonableefforts to prevent
the access or disclosure. Factors to be considered in determining thereasonableness of the licensed paralegal practitioner's efforts include, butare not limited to, the sensitivity of the information, the likelihood ofdisclosure if additional safeguards are not employed, the cost
of employing additional safeguards, the difficulty of implementing thesafeguards, and the
extent to which the safeguards adversely affect the licensed paralegalpractitioner's ability
to represent clients (e.g., by making a device or important piece of softwareexcessively
difficult to use). A client may require the licensed paralegal practitioner toimplement
special security measures not required by this Rule or may give informedconsent to forgo security measures that would otherwise be required by thisRule. Whether a licensed
paralegal practitioner may be required to take additional steps to safeguard aclient's
information in order to comply with other law, such as state and federal lawsthat govern
data privacy or that impose notification requirements upon the loss of, orunauthorized
access to, electronic information, is beyond the scope of these Rules.
For a licensed
paralegal practitioner's duties when sharing information with nonparalegal
practitioners
outside the licensed paralegal practitioner's own firm, see Rule 5.3. Comments [3]-[4].

[19] Whentransmitting a communication that includes information relating to therepresentation of a client, the licensed paralegal practitioner must takereasonable
precautions to prevent the information from coming into the hands of unintended
recipients. This duty, however, does not require that the licensed paralegalpractitioner use special security measures if the method of communicationaffords a reasonable expectation
of privacy. Special circumstances, however, may warrant special precautions.Factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of the licensedparalegal practitioner?s
expectation of confidentiality include the sensitivity of the information andthe extent to
which the privacy of the communication is protected by law or by aconfidentiality
agreement. A client may require the licensed paralegal practitioner toimplement special
security measures not required by this Rule or may give informed consent to theuse of a
means of communication that would otherwise be prohibited by this Rule. Whether a
licensed paralegal practitioner may be required to take additional steps inorder to comply
with other law, such as state and federal laws that govern data privacy, isbeyond the scope
of these Rules.

FormerClient

[20] The dutyof confidentiality continues after the licensed paralegal practitioner-
client relationship has terminated. See Rule 1.9(c)(2).See Rule 1.9(c)(1) for the prohibition against usingsuch information to the disadvantage of the former client.

 

EffectiveJanuary 16, 2019