PA 253 Unit 8 Assignment Polly the Paralegal and the UPL Query
Polly the Paralegal and the UPL query.
Paralegals work directly under an attorney providing such services as drafting and filing documents, interacting with clients and attorneys, assisting with discovery by performing research and investigation, and aiding their attorney by preparing for trials and hearings. Paralegals can perform the same tasks as lawyers, with the exception being the ability to practice law. Paralegals may not set or negotiate fees, give legal advice or counsel, or represent a client in court.
The practice of law can be defined as giving advice or counsel regarding legal rights, representing an individual in a court or similar setting, and preparing court documents. Legal advice is defined as giving counsel to an individual and then applying it to law. Unauthorized Practice of Law, in regards to giving legal advice, is a little harder to define because every situation is different. Generally speaking, however, legal advice is considered an act of UPL when the paralegal offers counsel to an individual who then acts upon the information obtained without having the proper training or knowledge.
Legal professionals, including paralegals, who commit UPL, can be penalized in various ways, depending on their professional status. An attorney who commits UPL may be fined, suspended, or even disbarred from practice. A paralegal can be reprimanded by their supervising lawyer, face fines, or suspension.
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