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Rule 1.7. Conflict of interest:current clients.

(a) Exceptas provided in paragraph (b), a licensed paralegal practitioner shall not represent a client if therepresentation involves a concurrent conflict of interest. A concurrentconflict of interest exists if:

(a)(1)The representation of one client will be directly adverse to another client; or
(a)(2) There is a significant risk that therepresentation of one or more clients will be

materiallylimited by the licensed paralegal practitioner?s responsibilities to anotherclient,
a former client or a third person or by a personal interest of the licensedparalegal

(b)Notwithstandingthe existence of a concurrent conflict of interest under paragraph
(a), a licensed paralegal practitioner may represent a client

(b)(1)the licensed paralegal practitioner reasonably believes that the licensed
paralegal practitioner will be able to provide competent and diligentrepresentation to each affected client;

(b)(2)the representation is not prohibited by law;
???? (b)(3) the representation does notinvolve the assertion of a claim by one client against
another client represented by the licensed paralegal practitioner in the samelitigation or
other proceeding before a
tribunal; and

(b)(4)each affected client gives informed consent, confirmed in writing.

General Principles

[1] Loyaltyand independent judgment are essential elements in the licensed paralegalpractitioner?s relationship to a client. Concurrent conflicts of interest canarise from the
licensed paralegal practitioner?s responsibilities to another client, a formerclient or a third person or from the licensed paralegal practitioner?s owninterests. For specific rules
regarding certain concurrent conflicts of interest, see Rule 1.8. For formerclient conflicts of interest, see Rule 1.9. For conflicts of interest involvingprospective clients, see Rule 1.18.
For definitions of "informed consent" and "confirmed inwriting," see Rules 1.0(f) and (b).

[2]  Resolutionof a conflict of interest problem under this Rule requires the licensedparalegal practitioner to: 1) clearly identify the client or clients; 2)determine whether a
conflict of interest exists; 3) decide whether the representation may beundertaken despite
the existence of a conflict, i.e., whether the conflict is consentable;and 4) if so, consult with
the clients affected under paragraph (a)(1) and obtaintheir informed consent, confirmed in writing. The clients affected underparagraph (a)(1) include both of the clients referredto
in paragraph (a)(1) and the one or more clients whose representation might bematerially
limited under paragraph (a)(2).

[3]  Aconflict of interest may exist before representation is undertaken, in whichevent
the representation must be declined, unless the licensed paralegal practitionerobtains the informed consent of each client under the conditions of paragraph(b). To determine
whether a conflict of interest exists, a licensed paralegal practitioner shouldadopt
reasonable procedures, appropriate for the size and type of firm and practice,to determine
in both litigation and nonlitigation matters thepersons and issues involved. See also
Comment to Rule 5.1. Ignorance caused by a failure to institute such procedureswill not excuse a licensed paralegal practitioner?s violation of this

[4]  Ifa conflict arises after representation has been undertaken, the licensedparalegal practitioner ordinarily must withdraw from the representation, unlessthe licensed
paralegal practitioner
has obtained the informed consentof the client under the conditions
of paragraph (b). See Rule 1.16. Where more than one client is involved,whether the
licensed paralegal practitioner may continue to represent any of the clients isdetermined
both by the licensed paralegal practitioner?s ability to comply with dutiesowed to the
former client and by the licensed paralegal practitioner?s ability to representadequately
the remaining client or clients, given the licensed paralegal practitioner?sduties to the
former client. See Rule 1.9. See also Comments [5] and [29].

[5]  Unforeseeabledevelopments might create conflicts in the midst of a representation. Dependingon the circumstances, the licensed paralegal practitioner may have the optionto withdraw from one of the representations in order to avoid the conflict. Thelicensed
paralegal practitioner must withdraw where necessary and take steps to minimizeharm to
the clients. See Rule 1.16. The licensed paralegal practitioner must continueto protect the confidences of the client from whose representation the licensedparalegal practitioner has withdrawn. See Rule1.9(c).

IdentifyingConflicts of Interest: Directly Adverse

[6]  Loyaltyto a current client prohibits undertaking representation directly adverse to
that client without that client?s informed consent. The client as to whom therepresentation
is directly adverse is likely to feel betrayed, and the resulting damage to thelicensed
paralegal practitioner-client relationship is likely to impair the licensedparalegal
practitioner?s ability to represent the client effectively. In addition, theclient on whose
behalf the adverse representation is undertaken reasonably may fear that thelicensed paralegal practitioner will pursue that client?s case less effectivelyout of deference to the
other client, i.e., that the representation may be materially limited by thelicensed paralegal practitioner?s interest in retaining the current

Identifying Conflicts of Interest: Material Limitation

[8]  Evenwhere there is no direct adverseness, a conflict of interest exists if there isa significant risk that a licensed paralegal practitioner?s ability toconsider, recommend or
carry out an appropriate
courseof action for the clientwill be materially limited as a result
of the licensed paralegal practitioner's other responsibilities or interests.The critical
questions are the likelihood that a difference in interests will eventuate and,if it does,
whether it will materially interfere with the licensed paralegal practitioner'sindependent professional judgment in considering alternatives or foreclosecourses of action that
reasonably should be pursued on behalf of theclient.

LicensedParalegal Practitioner?s Responsibilities to Former Clients and Other ThirdPersons

[9]  Inaddition to conflicts with other current clients, a licensed paralegalpractitioner?s duties of loyalty and independence may be materially limited byresponsibilities to former clients under Rule 1.9 or by the licensed paralegalpractitioner?s responsibilities to other persons, such as fiduciary dutiesarising from a licensed paralegal practitioner?s service as
a trustee, executor or corporate director.

PersonalInterest Conflicts

[10]   The licensed paralegal practitioner?sown interests should not be permitted to have
an adverse effect on representation of a client. For example, if the probity ofa licensed paralegal practitioner?s own conduct in a transaction is in seriousquestion, it may be
difficult or impossible for the licensed paralegal practitioner to give aclient detached
advice. Similarly, when a licensed paralegal practitioner has discussionsconcerning
possible employment with an opponent of the licensed paralegal practitioner?s client, or
with a law firm representing the opponent, such discussions couldmaterially limit the
licensed paralegal practitioner?s representation of the client. In addition, alicensed
paralegal practitioner may not allow related business interests to affectrepresentation, for example, by referring clients to an enterprise in which thelicensed paralegal practitioner
has an undisclosed financial interest. See Rule 1.8 for specific rulespertaining to a number
of personal interest conflicts, including business transactions with clients.See also Rule

1.10(personal interest conflicts under Rule 1.7 ordinarily are not imputed to otherlicensed paralegal practitioners in a law firm).

[11]    When licensed paralegal practitionersrepresenting different clients in the same matter or in substantially related mattersare closely related by blood or marriage, there
may be a significant risk that client confidences will be revealed and that thelicensed paralegal practitioner?s familyrelationship will interfere with both loyaltyand independent professional judgment.As a result, each client is entitled to know of the existence and implicationsof the relationship between the licensed paralegal practitioners before thelicensed paralegal practitioner agrees to undertake the representation. Thus, a licensed paralegal practitioner relatedto another licensed paralegal practitioner, e.g., as parent,
child, sibling or spouse, ordinarily may not represent a client in a matterwhere that
licensed paralegal practitioner is representing another party, unless each clientgives
informed consent. The disqualification arising from a close family relationshipis personal
and ordinarily is not imputed to members of firms with whom the licensedparalegal practitioners are associated. See Rule 1.10.

[12]   A licensed paralegal practitioner isprohibited from engaging in sexual relationships with a client unless thesexual relationship predates the formation of the licensed paralegalpractitioner-client relationship. See Rule 1.8(j).

Interestof Person Paying for a Licensed Paralegal Practitioner?s Service

[13]   A licensed paralegal practitioner maybe paid from a source other than the client, including a co-client, if theclient is informed of that fact and consents and the arrangement does notcompromise the licensed paralegal practitioner?s duty of loyalty or independentjudgment to the client. See Rule 1.8(f). If acceptance of the payment from anyother source presents a significant risk that the licensed paralegalpractitioner?s representation of the
client will be materially limited by the licensed paralegal practitioner?s owninterest in accommodating the person paying the licensed paralegalpractitioner?s fee or by the
licensed paralegal practitioner?s responsibilities to a payerwho is also a co-client, then the licensed paralegal practitioner must comply with the requirements of paragraph (b) beforeaccepting the representation, including determining whether the conflict is consentable
and, if so, that the client has adequate information about the material risksof the representation.


[14]   Ordinarily, clients may consent torepresentation notwithstanding a conflict. However, as indicated in paragraph(b), some conflicts are nonconsentable, meaning that
the licensed paralegal practitioner involved cannot properly ask for suchagreement or provide representation on the basis of the client?s consent. Whenthe licensed paralegal practitioner is representing more than one client, thequestion of consentability must be resolved as toeach client.

[15]   Consentability is typically determined byconsidering whether the interests of the clients will be adequately protectedif the clients are permitted to give their informed
consent to representation burdened by a conflict of interest. Thus, underparagraph (b)(1), representation is prohibited if inthe circumstances the licensed paralegal practitioner
cannot reasonably conclude that the licensed paralegal practitioner will beable to provide competent and diligent representation. See Rule 1.1(competence) and Rule 1.3 (diligence).

[16]   Paragraph (b)(2)describes conflicts that are nonconsentable becausethe representation is prohibited by applicablelaw.

[17]   Paragraph (b)(3)describes conflicts that are nonconsentable becauseof the institutional interest in vigorous development of each client?s positionwhen the clients are aligned directly against each other in the same litigationor other proceeding before a
tribunal. Whether clients are aligned directly against each other within themeaning of this paragraph requires examination of the context of theproceeding. Although this paragraph
does not preclude a licensed paralegal practitioner?s multiple representationof adverse
parties to a mediation (because mediation is not a proceeding before a"tribunal" under
Rule 1.0(o)), such representation may be precluded by paragraph (b)(1).


[18]   Informed consent requires that eachaffected client be aware of the relevant circumstances and of the material andreasonably foreseeable ways that the conflict could have adverse effects on theinterests of that client. See Rule 1.0(f) (informed consent). The informationrequired depends on the nature of the conflict and the nature of the risks
involved. When representation of multiple clients in a single matter isundertaken, the information must include the implications of the commonrepresentation, including
possible effects on loyalty, confidentiality and the licensed paralegalpractitioner-client privilege and the advantages and risks involved. SeeComments [30] and [31] (effect of common representation on confidentiality).

[19]   Under some circumstances it may beimpossible to make the disclosure necessary
to obtain consent. For example, when the licensed paralegal practitionerrepresents
different clients in related matters and one of the clients refuses to consentto the
disclosure necessary to permit the other client to make an informed decision,the licensed paralegal practitioner cannot properly ask the latter to consent.In some cases the
alternative to common representation can be that each party may have to obtainseparate representation with the possibility of incurring additional costs.These costs, along with the benefits of securing separate representation, arefactors that may be considered by the
affected client in determining whether common representation is in the client?s interests.

ConsentConfirmed in Writing

[20]    Paragraph (b) requires the licensedparalegal practitioner to obtain the informed consent of the client, confirmedin writing. Such a writing may consist of a document
executed by the client or one that the licensed paralegal practitioner promptlyrecords and transmits to the client following an oral consent. See Rule 1.0(b).See also Rule 1.0(p)
(writing includes electronic transmission). If it is not feasible to obtain ortransmit the
writing at the time the client gives informed consent, then the licensedparalegal
practitioner must obtain or transmit it within a reasonable time thereafter.See Rule 1.0(b).
The requirement of a writing does not supplant the need in most cases for thelicensed paralegal practitioner to talk with the client, to explain the risksand advantages, if any, of representation burdened with a conflict of interest,as well as reasonably available
alternatives, and to afford the client a reasonable opportunity to consider therisks and alternatives and to raise questions and concerns. Rather, the writingis required in order to impress upon clients the seriousness of the decisionthe client is being asked to make and
to avoid disputes or ambiguities that might later occur in the absence of a writing.


[21]   A client who has given consent to aconflict may revoke the consent and, like any
other client, may terminate the licensed paralegal practitioner?srepresentation at any time. Whether revoking consent to the client?s ownrepresentation precludes the licensed
paralegal practitioner from continuing to represent other clients depends onthe
circumstances, including the nature of the conflict, whether the client revokedconsent
because of a material change in circumstances, the reasonable expectations ofthe other
client and whether material detriment to the other clients or the licensedparalegal
practitioner would result.

Consentto Future Conflict

[22]   Whether a licensed paralegalpractitioner may properly request a client to waive conflicts that might arisein the future is subject to the test of paragraph (b). The
effectiveness of such waivers is generally determined by the extent to whichthe client reasonably understands the material risks that the waiver entails.The more
comprehensive the explanation of the types of future representations that mightarise and
the actual and reasonably foreseeable adverse consequences of thoserepresentations, the greater the likelihood that the client will have therequisite understanding.

Conflictsin Litigation

[23]   Paragraph (b)(3)prohibits representation of opposing parties in the same
litigation, regardless of the clients? consent. On the other hand, simultaneous
representation of parties whose interests in litigation may conflict, such asco-plaintiffs or
co-defendants, is governed by paragraph (a)(2). Aconflict may exist by reason of
substantial discrepancy in the parties' testimony, incompatibility in positionsin relation to
an opposing party or the fact that there are substantially differentpossibilities of
settlement of the claims or liabilities in question. Common representation ofpersons
having similar interestsin civil litigation is proper if the requirements of paragraph (b) are

[24]    Ordinarily a licensed paralegalpractitioner may take inconsistent legal positions in different tribunals atdifferent times on behalf of different clients. The mere fact that advocating alegal position on behalf of one client might create precedent adverse to theinterests of a client represented by the licensed paralegal practitioner in anunrelated matter does not create a conflict of interest. A conflict of interestexists, however, if there is a significant risk that a licensed paralegalpractitioner?s action on behalf of one client will materially limit thelicensed paralegal practitioner?s effectiveness in representing another client in a different case; forexample, when a decision favoring one client will create a precedent likely toseriously weaken the position taken on behalf of the other client.

Factorsrelevant in determining whether the clients need to be advised of the riskinclude: where the cases are pending, whether the issue is substantive orprocedural, the temporal relationship between the matters, the significance ofthe issue to the immediate and long-
term interests of the clients involved and the clients? reasonable expectationsin retaining
the licensed paralegal practitioner. If there is significant risk of materiallimitation, then
absent informed consent of the affected clients, the licensed paralegalpractitioner must
refuse one of the representations or withdraw from one or both matters.

[25]   Reserved.


[26]   Conflicts of interest under paragraphs(a)(1) and (a)(2) arise in contexts other
than litigation. Relevant factors in determining whether there is significantpotential ?for material limitation include theduration and intimacy of the licensed paralegal
practitioner's relationship with the client or clients involved, the functionsbeing
performed by the licensed paralegal practitioner, the likelihood thatdisagreements will
arise and the likely prejudice to the client from the conflict. The question isoften one of proximity and degree. See Comment[8].

[27]   Reserved.

[28]   Whether a conflict is consentable depends on the circumstances. For example, alicensed paralegal practitioner may not represent multiple parties to anegotiation whose interests are fundamentally antagonistic to each other, butcommon representation is permissible where the clients are generally aligned ininterest even though there is some difference in interest among them. Thus, alicensed paralegal practitioner may seek to establish or adjust a relationshipbetween clients on an amicable and mutually
advantageous basis; for example, in helping to organize a business in which twoor more clients are entrepreneurs, working out the financial reorganization ofan enterprise in
which two or more clients have an interest or arranging a property distributionin
settlement of an estate. The licensed paralegal practitioner seeks to resolvepotentially adverse interests by developing the parties? mutual interests.Otherwise, each party might have toobtain separate representation, with the possibility of incurring additionalcost, complication or even litigation. Given these and other relevant factors,the clients may
prefer that the licensed paralegal practitioner act for all of them.

SpecialConsiderations in Common Representation

[29]    In considering whether to representmultiple clients in the same matter, a licensed paralegal practitioner shouldbe mindful that if the common representation fails because
the potentially adverse interests cannot be reconciled, the result can beadditional cost, embarrassment and recrimination. Ordinarily, the licensedparalegal practitioner will be
forced to withdraw from representing all of the clients if the commonrepresentation fails.
In some situations, the risk of failure is so great that multiple representation is plainly
impossible. For example, a licensed paralegal practitioner cannot undertakecommon representation of clients where contentious litigation or negotiationsbetween them are
imminent or contemplated. Moreover, because the licensed paralegal practitioneris
required to be impartial between commonly represented clients, representationof multiple clients is improper when it is unlikely that impartiality can bemaintained. Generally, if the relationship between the parties has alreadyassumed antagonism, the possibility that the clients? interests can be adequatelyserved by common representation is not very good.

Otherrelevant factors are whether the licensed paralegal practitioner subsequentlywill represent both parties on a continuing basis and whether the situationinvolves creating or terminating a relationship between the parties.

[30]   A particularly important factor indetermining the appropriateness of common representation is the effect onlicensed paralegal practitioner-client confidentiality and the licensedparalegal practitioner-client privilege. With regard to the licensed paralegalpractitioner-client privilege, the prevailing rule is that, as between commonlyrepresented clients, the privilege does not attach. Hence, it must be assumedthat if litigation eventuates between the clients, the privilege will notprotect any such communications, and the client should be so advised.

[31]   As to the duty of confidentiality,continued common representation will almost
certainly be inadequate if one client asks the licensedparalegal practitioner not to disclose
to the other client information relevant to the common representation. This isso because
the licensed paralegal practitioner has an equal duty of loyalty to eachclient, and each
client has the right to be informed of anything bearing on the representationthat might
affect that client?s interests and the right to expect that the licensedparalegal practitioner
will use that information to that client?s benefit. See Rule 1.4. The licensedparalegal practitioner should, at the outset of the common representation andas part of the process
of obtaining each client?s informed consent, advise each client thatinformation will be
shared and that the licensed paralegal practitioner will have to withdraw ifone client
decides that some matter material to the representation should be kept from theother. In limited circumstances, it may be appropriate for the licensedparalegal practitioner to
proceed with the representation when the clients have agreed, after beingproperly
informed, that the licensed paralegal practitioner will keep certaininformation

[32]    When seeking to establish or adjust arelationship between clients, the licensed paralegal practitioner should makeclear that the licensed paralegal practitioner?s role is
not that of partisanship normally expected in other circumstances and, thus,that the clients
may be required to assume greater responsibility for decisions than when eachclient is separately represented.Any limitations on the scope of the representation made necessary
as a result of the common representation should be fully explained to theclients at the
outset of the representation. See Rule 1.2(c).

[33]   Subject to the above limitations, eachclient in the common representation has the right to loyal and diligentrepresentation and the protection of Rule 1.9 concerning the obligations to aformer client. The client also has the right to discharge the licensed
paralegal practitioner as stated in Rule 1.16.

EffectiveJanuary 16, 2019