Rule 7: Duty to Licensees and Others

Rule 7 Duty to Licensees and Others

7.01 COURTESY AND GOOD FAITH

Courtesy and Good Faith

(1) A paralegal shall avoid sharp practice and shall not take advantage of or act without fair warning on slips, irregularities or mistakes on the part of other licensees not going to the merits or involving the sacrifice of a client's rights.

(2) A paralegal shall agree to reasonable requests concerning trial dates, adjournments, waiver of procedural formalities and similar matters that do not prejudice the rights of the client.

(3) A paralegal shall not, in the course of providing legal services, communicate, in writing or otherwise, with a client, another licensee, or any other person in a manner that is abusive, offensive, or otherwise inconsistent with the proper tone of a professional communication from a paralegal.

(4) A paralegal shall not engage in ill-considered or uninformed criticism of the competence, conduct, advice or charges of other licensees, but should be prepared, when requested, to represent a client in a complaint involving another licensee.

(5) A paralegal shall answer, with reasonable promptness, all professional letters and communications from other licensees that require an answer, and a paralegal shall be punctual in fulfilling all commitments.

(6) A paralegal shall not use any device to record a conversation between the paralegal and a client or another licensee, even if lawful, without first informing the other person of the intention to do so.

(7) A paralegal who receives a document relating to the representation of the paralegal's client and knows or reasonably should know that the document was inadvertently sent shall promptly notify the sender.

[Amended - October 2014]

7.02 COMMUNICATION WITH A REPRESENTED PERSON, CORPORATION OR ORGANIZATION

Communication with a Represented Person, Corporation or Organization

(1) Subject to subrules (2) and (3), if a person is represented by a legal practitioner in respect of a matter, a paralegal shall not, except through or with the consent of the legal practitioner,

(a) approach or communicate or deal with the person on the matter; or

(b) attempt to negotiate or compromise the matter directly with the person.

(2) Subject to subrule (3), if a person is receiving legal services from a legal practitioner under a limited scope retainer on a particular matter, a paralegal may, without the consent of the legal practitioner, approach, communicate or deal directly with the person on the matter, unless the paralegal receives written notice of the limited nature of the legal services being provided by the legal practitioner and the approach, communication or dealing falls within the scope of the limited scope retainer.

(3) A paralegal who is not otherwise interested in a matter may give a second opinion to a person who is represented by a legal practitioner with respect to that matter.

(4) A paralegal retained to act on a matter involving a corporation or organization that is represented by a legal practitioner in respect of that matter shall not, without the legal practitioner's consent or unless otherwise authorized or required by law, communicate, facilitate communication with or deal with a person

(a) who is a director or officer, or another person who is authorized to act on behalf of the corporation or organization;

(b) who is likely involved in decision-making for the corporation or organization or who provides advice in relation to the particular matter;

(c) whose act or omission may be binding on or imputed to the corporation or organization for the purposes of its liability; or

(d) who supervises, directs or regularly consults with the legal practitioner and who makes decisions based on the legal practitioner's advice.

(5) If a person described in subrule (4) (a), (b), (c) or (d) is represented in the matter by a legal practitioner, the consent of the legal practitioner is sufficient to allow a paralegal to communicate, facilitate communication with or deal with the person.

(6) In subrule (4), "organization" includes a partnership, limited partnership, association, union, fund, trust, co-operative, unincorporated association, sole proprietorship and a government department, agency, or regulatory body.

(7) This rule applies to communications with any person, whether or not a party to a formal adjudicative proceeding, contract, or negotiation, who is represented by a licensee concerning the matter to which the communication relates.

(8) The prohibition on communications with a represented person applies if the paralegal has direct knowledge of the representation or if he or she should be able to infer the representation from the circumstances.

[New - October 2012]