Paralegal Prohibited Conduct

Paralegals can offer invaluable, knowledgeable, and skilled professional services to attorneys but they are not permitted to practice law.  All legal work performed by a Paralegal must be performed under the direction and supervision of an attorney who is licensed to practice law.

Essentially, Paralegals cannot sign pleadings, set legal fees, give legal advise, or represent clients in court.

Here are some excerpts of prohibited paralegal conduct by the Florida Bar.

Prohibited Conduct. A Florida Registered Paralegal should not:
(1) establish attorney-client relationships, accept cases, set legal fees, give legal opinions or advice, or represent a client before a court or other tribunal, unless authorized to do so by the court or tribunal;

(2) engage in, encourage, or contribute to any act that could constitute the unlicensed practice of law;

(3) engage in the practice of law;

(4) perform any of the duties that attorneys only may perform nor do things that attorneys themselves may not do; or

(5) act in matters involving professional legal judgment since the services of an attorney are essential in the public interest whenever the exercise of such judgment is required.

(e) Performance of Services. A Florida Registered Paralegal must act prudently in determining the extent to which a client may be assisted without the presence of an attorney. A Florida Registered Paralegal may perform services for an attorney in the representation of a client, provided:

(1) the services performed by the paralegal do not require the exercise of independent professional legal judgment;

(2) the attorney is responsible for the client, maintains a direct relationship with the client, and maintains control of all client matters;

(3) the attorney supervises the paralegal;

(4) the attorney remains professionally responsible for all work on behalf of the client and assumes full professional responsibility for the work product, including any actions taken or not taken by the paralegal in connection therewith; and

(5) the services performed supplement, merge with, and become the attorney’s work product.

(f) Competence. A Florida Registered Paralegal shall work continually to maintain integrity and a high degree of competency throughout the legal profession.

For more, please see the below link:
Florida Bar Rule – 20-7 CODE OF ETHICS AND RESPONSIBILITY

* Disclaimer:  Although a commissioned Notary Public and a Paralegal, I am not an attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Florida, and I  cannot give legal advice, accept fees for legal advice, or advise whether a person should or should not sign a document.  Further, I am not authorized by law to prepare legal documents except under the supervision or direction of an attorney licensed to practice law.   No content of any page on this website is to be taken or construed as legal advice.

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