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RULE 19-306.5. NONPROFIT AND COURT-ANNEXED LIMITED LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAMS (6.5)

West's Annotated Code of MarylandMaryland Rules

West's Annotated Code of Maryland
Maryland Rules
Title 19. Attorneys
Chapter 300. Maryland Attorneys' Rules of Professional Conduct
Public Service [Rules 19-306.1 to 19-306.5]
MD Rules Attorneys, Rule 19-306.5
RULE 19-306.5. NONPROFIT AND COURT-ANNEXED LIMITED LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAMS (6.5)
(a) An attorney who, under the auspices of a program sponsored by a nonprofit organization or court, provides short-term limited legal services to a client without expectation by either the attorney or the client that the attorney will provide continuing representation in the matter:
(1) is subject to Rules 19-301.7 (1.7) and 19-301.9 (a) (1.9) only if the attorney knows that the representation of the client involves a conflict of interest; and
(2) is subject to Rule 19-301.10 (1.10) only if the attorney knows that another attorney associated with the attorney in a law firm is disqualified by Rule 19-301.7 (1.7) or 19-301.9 (a) (1.9) with respect to the matter.
(b) Except as provided in subsection (a)(2) of this Rule, Rule 19-301.10 (1.10) is inapplicable to a representation governed by this Rule.
COMMENT
[1] Legal services organizations, courts and various nonprofit organizations have established programs through which attorneys provide short-term limited legal services--such as advice or the completion of legal forms--that will assist persons to address their legal problems without further representation by an attorney. In these programs, such as legal-advice hotlines, advice-only clinics, self-represented counseling programs, or programs in which attorneys represent clients on a pro bono basis for the purposes of mediation only, a client-attorney relationship is established, but there is no expectation that the attorney's representation of the client will continue beyond the limited consultation.
[2] An attorney who provides short-term limited legal services pursuant to this Rule must secure the client's informed consent to the limited scope of the representation. See Rule 19-301.2 (c) (1.2). If a short-term limited representation would not be reasonable under the circumstances, the attorney may offer advice to the client but must also advise the client of the need for further assistance of an attorney. Except as provided in this Rule, the Maryland Attorneys' Rules of Professional Conduct, including Rules 19-301.6 (1.6) and 19-301.9 (c) (1.9), are applicable to the limited representation.
[3] Because the limited nature of the services significantly reduces the risk of conflicts of interest with other matters being handled by the attorney's firm, section (b) provides that Rule 19-301.10 (1.10) is inapplicable to a representation governed by this Rule except as provided by subsection (a)(2) of this Rule. Subsection (a)(2) of this Rule requires the participating attorney to comply with Rule 19-301.10 (1.10) when the attorney knows that the attorney's firm is disqualified by Rules 19-301.7 (1.7) or 19-301.9 (a) (1.9). By virtue of section (b) of this Rule, however, an attorney's participation in a short-term limited legal services program will not preclude the attorney's firm from undertaking or continuing the representation of a client with interests adverse to a client being represented under the program's auspices. Nor will the personal disqualification of an attorney participating in the program be imputed to other attorneys participating in the program.
[4] If, after commencing a short-term limited representation in accordance with this Rule, an attorney undertakes to represent the client in the matter on an ongoing basis, Rules 19-301.7 (1.7), 19-301.9 (a) (1.9) and 19-301.10 (1.10) become applicable.
Model Rules Comparison: This Rule, newly added to the Model Rules by the Ethics 2000 Amendments to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, is substantially similar to the ABA Rule, with the exception of changes to Comment [1] and the omission of ABA Comment [3].

Credits

[Adopted June 6, 2016, eff. July 1, 2016.]
MD R Attorneys, Rule 19-306.5, MD R ATTORNEYS Rule 19-306.5
Current with amendments received through December 15, 2019.
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