PP3e Appendix C - Z03_GOLD0000_00_SE_APPC.QXD 12/9/09 1:30...

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APPENDIX C Model Standards and Guidelines for Utilization of Legal Assistants— Paralegals Table of Contents: INTRODUCTION PREAMBLE DEFINITION STANDARDS GUIDELINES Addendum (include case law references and summary of state activity) INTRODUCTION The purpose of this annotated version of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. Model Standards and Guidelines for the Utilization of Legal Assistants (the “Model,” “Standards” and/or the “Guidelines”) is to provide references to the existing case law and other authorities where the underlying issues have been considered. The authorities cited will serve as a basis upon which conduct of a legal assistant may be an- alyzed as proper or improper. The Guidelines represent a statement of how the legal assistant may function. The Guide- lines are not intended to be a comprehensive or exhaustive list of the proper duties of a le- gal assistant. Rather, they are designed as guides to what may or may not be proper conduct for the legal assistant. In formulating the Guidelines, the reasoning and rules of law in many reported decisions of disciplinary cases and unauthorized practice of law cases have been analyzed and considered. In addition, the provisions of the American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct, as well as the ethical promulgations of various state courts and bar associations, have been considered in the development of the Guidelines. These Guidelines form a sound basis for the legal assistant and the supervising attor- ney to follow. This Model will serve as a comprehensive resource document and as a definitive, well-reasoned guide to those considering voluntary standards and guidelines for legal assistants. 467 Copyright © 2005 NALA. All Rights Reserved. Z03_GOLD0000_00_SE_APPC.QXD 12/9/09 1:30 AM Page 467
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468 APPENDIX C Model Standards and Guidelines for Utilization of Legal Assistants—Paralegals I PREAMBLE Proper utilization of the services of legal assistants contributes to the delivery of cost- effective, high-quality legal services. Legal assistants and the legal profession should be assured that measures exist for identifying legal assistants and their role in assisting at- torneys in the delivery of legal services. Therefore, the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc., hereby adopts these Standards and Guidelines as an educational doc- ument for the benefit of legal assistants and the legal profession. Comment The three most frequently raised questions concerning legal assistants are (1) How do you define a legal assistant; (2) Who is qualified to be identified as a legal assistant; and (3) What duties may a legal assistant perform? The definition adopted in 1984 by the National Association of Legal Assistants answers the first question. The Model sets forth minimum education, training, and experience through standards which will assure that an individual utilizing the title “legal assistant” or “paralegal” has the qual- ifications to be held out to the legal community and the public in that capacity. The
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PP3e Appendix C - Z03_GOLD0000_00_SE_APPC.QXD 12/9/09 1:30...

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