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Rule 4.1. Truthfulness instatements to others.

In the course of representing a client a licensed paralegal practitioner shall not knowingly:

(a) Make a false statement of material fact orlaw to a third person; or

(b) Fail to disclose a material fact, whendisclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by aclient, unless disclosure is prohibited by Rule 1.6.

 

Comment

Misrepresentation

[1] A licensed paralegal practitioner is required to be truthful whendealing with others on a client's behalf, but generally has no affirmative dutyto inform an opposing party of relevant facts. A misrepresentation can occur ifthe licensed paralegal practitioner incorporates or affirms a statement ofanother person that the licensed paralegal practitioner knows is false.Misrepresentations can also occur by partially true but misleading statementsor omissions that are the equivalent of affirmative false statements. Fordishonest conduct that does not amount to a false statement or for misrepresentationby a licensed paralegal practitioner other than inthe course of representing a client, see Rule 8.4.

Statements of Fact

[2] This Rule refers to statements of fact.Whether a particular statement should be regarded as one of fact can depend oncircumstances. Under generally accepted conventions in negotiation, certaintypes of statements ordinarily are not taken as statements of material fact.Estimates of price or value placed on the subject of a transaction and aparty's intentions as to an acceptable settlement of a claim are ordinarily inthis category, and so is the existence of an undisclosed principal except wherenondisclosure of the principal would constitute fraud. Licensed paralegal practitionersshould be mindful of their obligations under applicable law to avoid criminaland tortious misrepresentation.

Crime or Fraud by Client

[3] Under Rule 1.2(d), a licensedparalegal practitioner is prohibited from counseling or assisting a client inconduct that the paralegal practitioner knows is criminal or fraudulent.Paragraph (b) states a specific application of the principle set forth in Rule1.2(d) and addresses the situation where a client?s crime or fraud takes theform of a lie or misrepresentation. Ordinarily, a licensed paralegal practitionercan avoid assisting a client?s crime or fraud by withdrawing from therepresentation. Sometimes it may be necessary for the licensed paralegalpractitioner to give notice of the fact of withdrawal and to disaffirm anopinion, document, affirmation or the like. In extreme cases, substantive lawmay require a licensed paralegal practitioner to disclose information relatingto the representation to avoid being deemed to have assisted the client's crimeor fraud. If the licensed paralegal practitioner can avoid assisting a client?scrime or fraud only by disclosing this information, then under paragraph (b)the licensed paralegal practitioner is required to doso, unless the disclosure is prohibited by Rule 1.6.

 

Effective November 1, 2018