Rule 14-802. Authorization topractice law.
(a) Application. Except as set forth inparagraphs (c) and (d), only persons who are active, licensed Bar members ingood standing may engage in the practice of law in Utah.
(b) Definitions. For purposes of this rule:
(1) ?Practice of law? meansrepresenting the interests of another person by informing, counseling,advising, assisting, advocating for, or drafting documents for that personthrough applying the law and associated legal principles to that person?s factsand circumstances.
(2) ?Law? means the collective bodyof declarations by governmental authorities that establish a person?s rights,duties, constraints, and freedoms and includes:
(A) constitutional provisions,treaties, statutes, ordinances, rules, regulations, and similarly enacteddeclarations; and
(B) decisions, orders, anddeliberations of adjudicative, legislative, and executive bodies of governmentthat have authority to interpret, prescribe, and determine a person?s rights,duties, constraints, and freedoms.
(3) ?Person? includes the plural aswell as the singular and legal entities as well as natural persons.
(c) Licensed Paralegal Practitioners. Aperson may be licensed to engage in the limited practice of law in the area orareas of (1) temporary separation, divorce, parentage, cohabitant abuse, civilstalking, and custody and support; (2) forcible entry and detainer; and (3)debt collection matters in which the dollar amount in issue does not exceed thestatutory limit for small claims cases.
(1) Within a practice area or areasin which a Licensed Paralegal Practitioner is licensed, a Licensed ParalegalPractitioner who is in good standing may represent the interests of a naturalperson who is not represented by a lawyer unaffiliated with the LicensedParalegal Practitioner by:
(A) establishing a contractualrelationship with the client;
(B) interviewing the client tounderstand the client?s objectives and obtaining facts relevant to achievingthat objective;
(C) completing forms approved by theJudicial Council;
(D) informing, counseling, advising,and assisting in determining which form to use and giving advice on how tocomplete the form;
(E) signing, filing, and completingservice of the form;
(F) obtaining, explaining, andfiling any document needed to support the form;
(G) reviewing documents of anotherparty and explaining them;
(H) informing, counseling, assistingand advocating for a client in mediated negotiations;
(I) filling in, signing, filing, andcompleting service of a written settlement agreement form in conformity withthe negotiated agreement;
(J) communicating with another partyor the party?s representative regarding the relevant form and mattersreasonably related thereto; and
(K) explaining a court order thataffects the client?s rights and obligations.
(d) Exceptions and Exclusions. Whether ornot it constitutes the practice of law, the following activity by a nonlawyer,who is not otherwise claiming to be a lawyer or to be able to practice law, ispermitted:
(1) Making legal forms available tothe general public, whether by sale or otherwise, or publishing legal self-helpinformation by print or electronic media.
(2) Providing general legalinformation, opinions, or recommendations about possible legal rights,remedies, defenses, procedures, options, or strategies, but not specific advicerelated to another person?s facts or circumstances.
(3) Providing clerical assistance toanother to complete a form provided by a municipal, state, or federal courtlocated in Utah when no fee is charged to do so.
(4) When expressly permitted by thecourt after having found it clearly to be in the best interests of the child orward, assisting one?s minor child or ward in a juvenile court proceeding.
(5) Representing a party in smallclaims court as permitted by Rule of Small Claims Procedure 13.
(6) Representing withoutcompensation a natural person or representing a legal entity as an employeerepresentative of that entity in an arbitration proceeding, where the amount incontroversy does not exceed the jurisdictional limit of the small claims courtset by the Utah Legislature.
(7) Representing a party in anymediation proceeding.
(8) Acting as a representativebefore administrative tribunals or agencies as authorized by tribunal or agencyrule or practice.
(9) Serving in a neutral capacity asa mediator, arbitrator, or conciliator.
(10) Participating in labornegotiations, arbitrations, or conciliations arising under collective bargainingrights or agreements or as otherwise allowed by law.
(11) Lobbying governmental bodies asan agent or representative of others.
(12) Advising or preparing documentsfor others in the following described circumstances and by the followingdescribed persons:
(A) A real estate agent or brokerlicensed in Utah may complete state-approved forms including sales andassociated contracts directly related to the sale of real estate and personalproperty for their customers.
(B) An abstractor or title insuranceagent licensed in Utah may issue real estate title opinions and title reportsand prepare deeds for customers.
(C) Financial institutions andsecurities brokers and dealers licensed in Utah may inform customers withrespect to their options for titles of securities, bank accounts, annuities,and other investments.
(D) Insurance companies and agentslicensed in Utah may recommend coverage, inform customers with respect to theiroptions for titling of ownership of insurance and annuity contracts, the namingof beneficiaries, and the adjustment of claims under the company?s insurancecoverage outside of litigation.
(E) Health care providers mayprovide clerical assistance to patients in completing and executing durablepowers of attorney for health care and natural death declarations when no feeis charged to do so.
(F) Certified Public Accountants,enrolled IRS agents, public accountants, public bookkeepers, and tax preparersmay prepare tax returns.
(13) Representing an Indian tribethat has formally intervened in a proceeding subject to the Indian ChildWelfare Act of 1978, 25 U.S.C. sections 1901?63. Before a nonlawyer mayrepresent a tribe, the tribe must designate the nonlawyer representative by filinga written authorization. If the tribe changes its designated representative orif the representative withdraws, the tribe must file a written substitution ofrepresentation or withdrawal.
(14) Providing legal services underUtah Supreme Court Standing Order No. 15.
Effective September 1, 2020
Advisory Committee Comment:
?Active?in this paragraph refers to the formal status of a lawyer, as determined by theBar. Among other things, an active lawyer must comply with the Bar?srequirements for continuing legal education.
Thepractice of law defined in paragraph (b)(1) includes: giving advice or counselto another person as to that person?s legal rights or responsibilities withrespect to that person?s facts and circumstances; selecting, drafting, orcompleting legal documents that affect the legal rights or responsibilities ofanother person; representing another person before an adjudicative, legislative,or executive body, including preparing or filing documents and conductingdiscovery; and negotiating legal rights or responsibilities on behalf ofanother person.
Becauserepresenting oneself does not involve another person, it is not technically the?practice of law.? Thus, any natural person may represent oneself as anindividual in any legal context. To the same effect is Article 1, Rule 14-111Integration and Management: ?Nothing in this article shall prohibit a personwho is unlicensed as an attorney at law or a foreign legal consultant frompersonally representing that person?s own interests in a cause to which theperson is a party in his or her own right and not as assignee.?
Similarly,an employee of a business entity is not engaged in ?the representation of theinterest of another person? when activities involving the law are a part of theemployee?s duties solely in connection with the internal business operations ofthe entity and do not involve providing legal advice to another person.Further, a person acting in an official capacity as an employee of a governmentagency that has administrative authority to determine the rights of personsunder the law is also not representing the interests of another person.
Asdefined in paragraph (b)(2), ?the law? is a comprehensive term that includesnot only the black-letter law set forth in constitutions, treaties, statutes,ordinances, administrative and court rules and regulations, and similarenactments of governmental authorities, but the entire fabric of itsdevelopment, enforcement, application, and interpretation.
Lawsduly enacted by the electorate by initiative and referendum underconstitutional authority are included under paragraph (b)(2)(A).
Paragraph(b)(2)(B) is intended to incorporate the breadth of decisional law, as well asthe background, such as committee hearings, floor discussions, and otherlegislative history, that often accompanies the written law of legislatures andother law- and rule-making bodies. Reference to adjudicative bodies in thisparagraph includes courts and similar tribunals, arbitrators, administrativeagencies, and other bodies that render judgments or opinions involving aperson?s interests.
Theexceptions for Licensed Paralegal Practitioners arise from the November 18,2015 Report and Recommendation of the Utah Supreme Court Task Force to ExamineLimited Legal Licensing. The Task Force was created to make recommendations toaddress the large number of litigants who are unrepresented or forgo access tothe Utah judicial system because of the high cost of retaining a lawyer. TheTask Force recommended that the Utah Supreme Court exercise its constitutionalauthority to govern the practice of law to create a subset of discreet legalservices in the practice areas of: (1) temporary separation, divorce,parentage, cohabitant abuse, civil stalking, and custody and support; (2)unlawful detainer and forcible entry and detainer; and (3) debt collectionmatters in which the dollar amount in issue does not exceed the statutory limitfor small claims cases. The Task Force determined that these three practice areashave the highest number of unrepresented litigants in need of low-cost legalassistance. Based on the Task Force?s recommendations, the Utah Supreme Courtauthorized Licensed Paralegal Practitioners to provide limited legal servicesas prescribed in this rule and in accordance with the Supreme Court Rules ofProfessional Practice.
ALicensed Paralegal Practitioner may complete forms that are approved by theJudicial Council and that are related to the limited scope of practice of lawdescribed in paragraph (c). The Judicial Council approves forms for the OnlineConsumer Assistance Program and for use by the public. The forms approved bythe Judicial Council may be found at https://www.utcourts.gov/ocap/ andhttps://www.utcourts.gov/selfhelp/.
Tothe extent not already addressed by the requirement that the practice of lawinvolves the representation of others, paragraph (d)(2) permits the direct andindirect dissemination of legal information in an educational context, such aslegal teaching and lectures.
Paragraph(d)(3) permits assistance provided by employees of the courts and legal-aid andsimilar organizations that do not charge for providing these services.
Paragraph(d)(7) applies only to the procedures directly related to parties? involvementbefore a neutral third-party mediator; it does not extend to any relatedjudicial proceedings unless otherwise provided for under this rule (e.g., underparagraph (d)(5)).