PAR 104 - Paralegal Ethics
3 Credits, 3 Contact Hours
3 lecture periods 0 lab periods
Rules and principles of professional responsibility in the legal field. Includes sources of the rules of legal ethics, ethical guidelines and attorney supervision of paralegals, unauthorized practice of law, confidentiality, conflicts of interest, advertising and solicitation, attorney’s fees and fiduciary duties, competence, malpractice, ethical conduct issues in litigation, and professional integrity issues.
Prerequisite(s): PAR 103 or concurrent enrollment.
Information: Prerequisite may be waived if employed in a legal-related field, or if pursuing a post-degree certificate; see a PAR advisor or course instructor.
Course Learning Outcomes
- Describe the sources of the rules of legal ethics.
- Examine the ethical guidelines and attorney supervision of paralegals.
- Explain how a paralegal can avoid unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL).
- Define the principle of confidentiality and explain its application to the paralegal.
- List the types of conflicts of interest in the law practice.
- Describe permissible methods of advertising in the legal field.
- Identify types of fee arrangements and describe fiduciary duties of a law practice.
- Explain factors affecting paralegal competency.
- Describe the factors which could contribute to malpractice.
- Explain how a paralegal can contribute to and enhance professionalism in the legal field.
- Sources of the Rules of Legal Ethics
- History of rules
- American Bar Association model rules
- Arizona rules
- Sanctions and remedies
- Ethical Guidelines and Attorney Supervision of Paralegals
- American Bar Association model guidelines for utilization of paralegals
- Paralegal Associations’ Codes of Ethics
- Liability of paralegals as agents of attorneys
- Supervisory responsibilities of attorneys
- Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL)
- Practice of law defined
- What constitutes permissible paralegal work
- What constitutes unauthorized practice of law by paralegals
- Definition of confidentiality
- Attorney - client privilege
- Work product
- Conflicts of Interest
- Acceptance of representation of clients
- Client and client
- Prohibited transactions
- Former clients
- Disqualifications- attorney and paralegal prior employment
- Advertising and Solicitation
- Information about legal services
- Bates vs. State Bar of Arizona
- Claims of competence and expertise
- Direct contact with prospective clients
- Firm names and letterhead
- Attorneys’ Fees and Fiduciary Duties
- “Reasonable” fees defined
- Fee arrangement types
- Fee-splitting and referrals
- Client funds
- Other client assets and documents
- Fee recovery - lawyers and paralegals
- Education - lawyers and paralegals
- Community competency standards - lawyers and paralegals
- Sanctions for incompetency
- Ethical Conduct Issues in Litigation
- Meritorious claims or defenses
- Transactions with persons other than clients - including opposing parties and unrepresented parties
- Expediting litigation
- Discovery abuse
- Courtroom conduct
- Professional Integrity Issues
- Licensing and certification
- Continuing legal education
- Reporting professional misconduct
- Pro-bono work
- Public service
Full Academic Year 2019/2020
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