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Coalition Comment Urges Protection for Clients With Disabilities in Legal Representation

Posted by on 02/19/2021
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February 16, 2021
DREDF and other California legal services offices continue work to ensure that clients with cognitive or mental health disabilities are not stripped of their right to make decisions based on paternalistic stereotypes. Past advocacy, which began in 2009, has focused on the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Model Rule 1.14 addresses clients with “diminished capacity.” The coalition has repeatedly and successfully argued that Rule 1.14 is too vague and too broad, and would allow attorneys to inappropriately compromise clients’ personal autonomy and confidentiality in situations where it is not warranted. Model Rule 1.14 has not been adopted in California. However, the California State Bar ethics committee is now considering issuing an advisory opinion that would be similarly and inappropriately restrictive. […], February 16, 2021
DREDF and other California legal services offices continue work to ensure that clients with cognitive or mental health disabilities are not stripped of their right to make decisions based on paternalistic stereotypes. Past advocacy, which began in 2009, has focused on the American Bar Association (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Model Rule 1.14 addresses clients with “diminished capacity.” The coalition has repeatedly and successfully argued that Rule 1.14 is too vague and too broad, and would allow attorneys to inappropriately compromise clients’ personal autonomy and confidentiality in situations where it is not warranted. Model Rule 1.14 has not been adopted in California. However, the California State Bar ethics committee is now considering issuing an advisory opinion that would be similarly and inappropriately restrictive. […],

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