16-18-34.2. Utilization of legal assistants. Utilization of legal assistants by licensed attorneys is subject to the following rules:
(1) An attorney may permit a legal assistant to assist in all aspects of the attorney's representation of a client, provided that:
(a) The status of the legal assistant is disclosed at the outset of any professional relationship with a client, other attorneys, courts or administrative agencies, or members of the general public;
(b) The attorney establishes the attorney-client relationship, is available to the client, and maintains control of all client matters;
(c) The attorney reviews the legal assistant's work product and supervises performance of the duties assigned;
(d) The attorney remains responsible for the services performed by the legal assistant to the same extent as though such services had been furnished entirely by the attorney and such actions were those of the attorney;
(e) The services performed by the legal assistant supplement, merge with and become part of the attorney's work product;
(f) The services performed by the legal assistant do not require the exercise of unsupervised legal judgment; this provision does not prohibit a legal assistant appearing and representing a client at an administrative hearing provided that the agency or board having jurisdiction does not have a rule forbidding persons other than licensed attorneys to do so and providing that the other rules pertaining to the utilization of legal assistants are met; and
(g) The attorney instructs the legal assistant concerning standards of client confidentiality.
A legal assistant may not establish the attorney-client relationship, set legal fees, give legal advice or represent a client in court; nor encourage, engage in, or contribute to any act which would constitute the unauthorized practice of law.
(2) A legal assistant may author and sign correspondence on the attorney's letterhead, provided the legal assistant's status is indicated and the correspondence does not contain legal opinions or give legal advice.
(3) An attorney may identify a legal assistant by name and title on the attorney's letterhead and on business cards identifying the attorney's firm.Source:
Supreme Court Rule 97-25.
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