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Professional Ethics

Barry Kozak

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The Forgotten Rule Of Professional Conduct: Representing A Client With Diminished Capacity, Barry Kozak Apr 2015

The Forgotten Rule Of Professional Conduct: Representing A Client With Diminished Capacity, Barry Kozak

Barry Kozak

All attorneys who maintain client-lawyer relationships must continually, or at least periodically, assess each client’s mental capacity. Under the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, this assessment is a two-step process. First, the attorney must ensure that an individual has enough mental capacity to establish or maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship, and second, the attorney must ensure that the individual has enough mental capacity to legally-bind him or herself in the desired transaction or intended course of action. If the attorney determines that at any point in time, a particular client has diminished capacity, then Model Rule 1.14 requires ...