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Rule 6.5. Nonprofit and court-annexed limited legal servicesprograms.

(a)A licensed paralegal practitioner who, under the auspices of a programsponsored by a nonprofit organization or court, provides short-term limitedlegal services to a client without expectation by either the licensed paralegalpractitioner or the client that the licensed paralegal practitioner willprovide continuing representation in the matter:

(a)(1)is subject to Rule 1.7 and 1.9(a) of the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Rulesof Professional Conduct only if the licensed paralegal practitioner knows thatthe representation of the client involves a conflict of interest; and

(a)(2)is subject to Rule 1.10 of the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules ofProfessional Conduct only if the licensed paralegal practitioner knows thatanother lawyer or licensed paralegal practitioner associated with the licensedparalegal practitioner in a law firm is disqualified by Rule 1.7 or 1.9(a) ofthe Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules of Professional Conduct with respectto the matter.

(b)Except as provided in paragraph (a)(2), Rule 1.10 ofthe Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules of Professional Conduct isinapplicable to a representation governed by this Rule.

 

Comment

[1]Legal services organizations, courts and various nonprofit organizations haveestablished programs through which licensed paralegal practitioners provideshort-term limited legal services such as advice for the completion of legalforms that will assist persons to address their legal problems without furtherrepresentation by a licensed paralegal practitioner or lawyer. In theseprograms, such as legal-advice hotlines, advice-only clinics or pro secounseling programs, a client-licensed paralegal practitioner relationship isestablished, but there is no expectation that the licensed paralegalpractitioner?s representation of the client will continue beyond the limitedconsultation. Such programs are normally operated under circumstances in whichit is not feasible for a licensed paralegal practitioner to systematicallyscreen for conflicts of interest as is generally required before undertaking arepresentation. See, e.g. Rules 1.7, 1.9 and 1.10 of the Licensed ParalegalPractitioner Rules of Professional Conduct.

[2]A licensed paralegal practitioner who provides short-term limited legalservices pursuant to this Rule must secure the client?s informed consent to thelimited scope of the representation. See Rule 1.2(c) of the Licensed ParalegalPractitioner Rules of Professional Conduct. If a short-term limitedrepresentation would not be reasonable under the circumstances, the licensedparalegal practitioner may offer advice to the client but must also advise theclient of the need for further assistance of counsel. Except as provided inthis Rule, the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules of Professional Conduct,including Rule 1.6 and 1.9(c) of the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules ofProfessional Conduct, are applicable to the limited representation.

[3]Because a licensed paralegal practitioner who is representing a client in thecircumstances addressed by this Rule ordinarily is not able to checksystematically for conflicts of interest, paragraph (a) requires compliancewith Rule 1.7 or 1.9(a) of the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules ofProfessional Conduct only if the licensed paralegal practitioner knows that therepresentation presents a conflict of interest for the licensed paralegalpractitioner, and with Rule 1.10 of the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Rulesof Professional Conduct only if the licensed paralegal practitioner knows thatanother licensed paralegal practitioner or lawyer in the licensed paralegalpractitioner?s firm is disqualified in the matter by Rules 1.7 or 1.9(a) of theLicensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules of Professional Conduct.

[4]Because the limited nature of the services significantly reduces the risk ofconflicts of interest with other matters being handled by the licensedparalegal practitioner?s firm, paragraph (b) provides that Rule 1.10 of theLicensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules of Professional Conduct is inapplicableto a representation governed by this Rule except as provided by paragraph(a)(2). Paragraph (a)(2) requires the participatinglicensed paralegal practitioner to comply with Rule 1.10 of the LicensedParalegal Practitioner Rules of Professional Conduct when the licensedparalegal practitioner knows that the licensed paralegal practitioner?s firm isdisqualified by Rules 1.7 or 1.9(a) of the Licensed Paralegal PractitionerRules of Professional Conduct. By virtue of paragraph (b), however, a licensedparalegal practitioner?s participation in a short-term limited legal servicesprogram will not preclude the licensed paralegal practitioner?s firm fromundertaking or continuing the representation of a client with interests adverseto a client being represented under the program?s auspices. Nor will thepersonal disqualification of a licensed paralegal practitioner participating inthe program be imputed to other licensed paralegal practitioners participatingin the program.

[5]If, after commencing a short-term limited representation in accordance withthis Rule, a licensed paralegal practitioner undertakes to represent the clientin the matter on an ongoing basis, Rules 1.7, 1.9(a) and 1.10 of the LicensedParalegal Practitioner Rules of Professional Conduct become applicable.

 

Effective November 1, 2018