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Rule 8.4. Misconduct.

Itis professional misconduct for a licensed paralegal practitioner to:

(a)violate or attempt to violate the Licensed ParalegalPractitioner Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce anotherto do so, or do so through the acts of another;

(b)commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on thelicensed paralegal practitioner?s honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as alicensed paralegal practitioner in other respects;

(c)engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceitor misrepresentation;

(d)engage in conduct that is prejudicial to theadministration of justice;

(e)state or imply an ability to influence improperly a government agency orofficial or to achieve results by means that violate the Licensed ParalegalPractitioner Rules of Professional Conduct or other law; or

(f)knowingly assist a judge or judicial officer inconduct that is a violation of applicable rules of judicial conduct or otherlaw.

 

Comment

[1] Licensed paralegal practitioners are subject to disciplinewhen they violate or attempt to violate the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules of ProfessionalConduct or knowingly assist or induce another to doso through the acts of another, as when they request or instruct an agent to doso on the licensed paralegal practitioner?s behalf. Paragraph (a), however,does not prohibit a licensed paralegal practitioner from advising a clientconcerning action the client is legally entitled to take.

[1a] A violation of paragraph(a) based solely on the licensed paralegal practitioner?s violation of another of the Licensed ParalegalPractitioner Rules of Professional Conduct shall notbe charged as a separate violation. However, this rule defines professionalmisconduct as a violation of the Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Rulesof Professional Conduct as the term professionalmisconduct is used in the Supreme Court Rules of Professional Practice,including the Standards for Imposing Licensed Paralegal Practitioner Sanctions.In this respect, if a licensed paralegal practitioner violates any of theLicensed Paralegal Practitioner Rules of Professional Conduct, the appropriatediscipline may be imposed pursuant to Rule 15-605.

[2] Many kinds of illegal conduct reflect adversely on fitness topractice law, such as offenses involving fraud and the offense of willfulfailure to file an income tax return. However, some kinds of offenses carry nosuch implication. Traditionally, the distinction was drawn in terms of offensesinvolving "moral turpitude." That concept can be construed to includeoffenses concerning some matters of personal morality, such as adultery andcomparable offenses, that have no specificconnection to fitness for the practice of law. Although a licensed paralegalpractitioner is personally answerable to the entire criminal law, a licensedparalegal practitioner should be professionally answerable only for offensesthat indicate lack of those characteristics relevant to law practice. Offensesinvolving violence, dishonesty, breach of trust or serious interference withthe administration of justice are in that category. A pattern of repeatedoffenses, even ones of minor significance when considered separately, canindicate indifference to legal obligation.

[3] A licensed paralegal practitioner who, in the course ofrepresenting a client, knowingly manifests by words or conduct bias orprejudice based upon race, sex, religion, national origin, disability, age,sexual orientation or socioeconomic status, violates paragraph (d) when suchactions are prejudicial to the administration of justice. Legitimate advocacyrespecting the foregoing factors does not violate paragraph (d).

[3a] The Standards of Licensed Paralegal PractitionerProfessionalism and Civility approved by the Utah Supreme Court are intended toimprove the administration of justice.  An egregious violation or apattern of repeated violations of the Standards of Licensed ParalegalPractitioner Professionalism and Civility may support a finding that thelicensed paralegal practitioner has violated paragraph (d).

[4] A licensed paralegal practitioner may refuse to comply with anobligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligationexists.

[5] Licensed paralegal practitioners holding public office assumelegal responsibilities going beyond those of other citizens. A licensedparalegal practitioner's abuse of public office can suggest an inability tofulfill the professional role of licensed paralegal practitioners. The same istrue of abuse of positions of private trust such as trustee, executor,administrator, guardian, agent and officer, director or manager of acorporation or other organization.

 

Effective November 1, 2018