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Rule 8.3. Reporting professional misconduct.

(a)A licensed paralegal practitioner who knows that a lawyer has committed aviolation of the Rules of Professional Conduct or that another licensedparalegal practitioner has committed a violation of the Licensed ParalegalPractitioner Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial questionas to that lawyer?s or licensed paralegal practitioner?s honesty,trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer or licensed paralegal practitioner inother respects shall inform the appropriate professional authority.

(b)A licensed paralegal practitioner who knows that a judge has committed aviolation of applicable Rules of Judicial Conduct that raises a substantialquestion as to the judge?s fitness for office shall inform the appropriateauthority.

(c)This Rule does not require disclosure of information otherwise protected byRule 1.6 of the Rules of Professional Conduct and other Licensed ParalegalPractitioner Rules of Professional Conduct or information gained by a licensedparalegal practitioner or judge while participating in an approved lawyers orlicensed paralegal practitioners assistance program.

 

Comment

[1] Self-regulation of the legal professionrequires that members of the profession initiate disciplinary investigationwhen they know of a violation of the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules of ProfessionalConduct. Licensed paralegal practitioners have asimilar obligation with respect to judicial misconduct. An apparently isolatedviolation may indicate a pattern of misconduct that only a disciplinaryinvestigation can uncover. Reporting a violation is especially important wherethe victim is unlikely to discover the offense.

[2] A report about misconduct is not requiredwhere it would involve violation of Rule 1.6 of the Rules of ProfessionalConduct and of theLicensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules of Professional Conduct. However, a licensed paralegal practitioner shouldencourage a client to consent to disclosure where prosecution would notsubstantially prejudice the client's interests.

[3] If a licensed paralegal practitioner wereobliged to report every violation of the Rules, the failure to report anyviolation would itself be a professional offense.? This Rule limits the reporting obligation to thoseoffenses that a self-regulating profession must vigorously endeavor to prevent.A measure of judgment is, therefore, required in complying with the provisionsof this Rule. The term "substantial" refers to the seriousness of thepossible offense and not the quantum of evidence of which the licensedparalegal practitioner is aware. A report should be made to the Bardisciplinary agency unless some other agency, such as a peer review agency, ismore appropriate in the circumstances. Similar considerations apply to thereporting of judicial misconduct.

[4] Reserved.

[5] Information about a licensed paralegal practitioner?smisconduct or fitness may be received by a licensed paralegal practitioner inthe course of that licensed paralegal practitioner?s participation in anapproved licensed paralegal practitioners assistanceprogram. In that circumstance, providing for an exception to the reportingrequirements of paragraphs (a) and (b) of this Rule encourages licensedparalegal practitioners to seek treatment through such a program. Conversely,without such an exception, licensed paralegal practitioners may hesitate toseek assistance from these programs, which may then result in additional harmto their professional careers and additional injury to the welfare of clientsand the public.

 

Effective November 1, 2018