The commentary to Rule 5.7-1 of the Lawyers` Code provides that a lawyer who, as a mediator, prepares a draft contract for consideration by the parties to mediation must explicitly advise and encourage the parties to seek separate independent legal representation with respect to the draft contract. In general, lawyers and paralegals may represent a client in matters where there is a conflict of interest, provided that the lawyer or paralegal has reasonable grounds to believe that he or she is able to represent each client without significantly compromising representation or loyalty to other clients and that all affected clients consent to this [Rule 3.4-2 of the Lawyers` Code and Rule 3.04(3) of the Rules of the paralegals]. If a person hires a lawyer to provide independent legal advice, that lawyer will subject the document provided to a detailed review to understand the legal implications of the document if the parties proceed with the document as is. After that, the lawyer will explain to the client what the agreement entails, in particular what consequences the agreement may have. If the client does not agree with certain parts of the agreement, the lawyer can start negotiating changes with the other party. If a lawyer or paralegal has an ongoing relationship with a client for whom he or she regularly acts, the lawyer or paralegal is required to inform the other client of the continuing relationship and recommend that the client seek independent legal advice on the joint advance [rule 3.4-6 of the Lawyers` Code; Subsection 3.04(8) of the Paralegal Rules]. Lawyers and paralegals may enter into transactions with clients only if the transaction is fair and reasonable to the client [rule 3.4-28 of the Lawyers` Code; Subsection 3.06(1) of the Paralegal Rules]. This requirement applies to all transactions involving a lawyer or paralegal and a client of the lawyer or paralegal, whether or not other persons are also parties, including the loan or loan of money, the purchase or sale of real property or services of other face value, the granting or acquisition of property, Security or other financial interests in a company or other entity. recommending an investment or entering into a joint venture [Article 3.4-27 of the Code of Ethics; Section 3.06 of the Paralegal Rules]. Trying to use a lawyer to review all the documents for everyone involved in a legal case (or not seeking legal advice at all) may seem like a decent way to save money and reduce high fees.
It can be difficult to pay the extra cost of separate legal advice, but it`s worth making sure your legal needs are met and you haven`t been exploited. Most often, a person seeks independent legal advice before signing a marriage contract or separation agreement. Courts have a negative view of agreements reached when a party did not have independent legal counsel and was therefore unlikely to be able to understand all the terms drafted by their partner`s lawyer. To ensure that an agreement holds up before the courts, the parties should have their own independent counsel who discusses with them the nature and consequences of the decision. In most cases, only independent legal advice is recommended. In other situations, such as an arbitration agreement, the unrepresented party must seek independent legal advice. In complex situations, such as issues that lead to complicated prenuptial or separation agreements, we sometimes lack the legal understanding to review our document ourselves to ensure that it not only meets our needs, but is not unfair. In this article, we unpack independent legal advice and explore what it is, why it`s important, and how it protects us. At first glance, independent legal advice may seem like an additional fee for lawyers. In fact, it is crucial to maintain fairness in the treaties. While client consent may allow you to act on behalf of a client in the event of a conflict of interest, in certain situations the client may be advised to seek independent legal advice before giving consent. The purpose of seeking independent legal advice is to ensure that the client assesses the nature and consequences of the proceedings in the event that the lawyer or paralegal is in a conflict of interest.
The Lawyers` Code and the Paralegal Rules of Professional Conduct describe the circumstances in which a lawyer or paralegal should recommend or require that a client or other person obtain independent legal advice or representation. The following situations summarize these circumstances. Independent legal advice is when you receive advice from a separate lawyer from the other people involved in the case. Typically, a certificate of independent legal advice is signed and attached to your contract. Without independent legal advice, your document may not be enforceable in court. Independent family law legal advice is usually sought when a party wants to determine the legal consequences of something before it becomes legally binding. Independent legal advice is the opinion of a lawyer who is not affiliated with another person in the contact or dispute. Depending on the nature of the transaction with a client, a lawyer or paralegal should or should require that the client receive independent legal advice or representation in relation to the transaction. The lawyer or paralegal should review subsection 3.4-29(b) of the Prosecutors` Code or paragraph 3.06(4)(b) of the Paralegal Rules to determine the procedure for obtaining independent legal advice or representation that applies to each particular type of transaction with a client. Sections 5 and 6 of Directive 2 of the Guidelines on Professional Conduct for Paralegals recommend that, when acting as a mediator, a paralegal protect himself or herself from potential conflicts of interest and propose and encourage parties to seek the advice of a qualified paralegal or lawyer before and during the mediation process; if it has not already done so. The process of finalizing a document may sometimes involve seeking independent legal advice. In this article, we explain what independent legal advice is and how it protects you.
For some documents, such as a prenuptial agreement or separation agreement, independent legal advice is an essential step in creating a valid and fair document. In truth, skipping an independent review is not a good practice, as it can lead you to sign your agreement without fully understanding your rights and obligations. In addition, in some situations, a lawyer is not permitted to advise all parties involved. Ashley is an experienced researcher and author with an interest in real estate, contract and family law. Prior to joining LawDepot in the summer of 2017, Ashley worked as an associate corporate and family lawyer. While a lawyer or paralegal may ask a client in advance for consent to conflicts that may arise in the future, the effectiveness of such consent is generally determined by the client`s assessment of the significant risks involved in such consent. In certain circumstances, it may be advisable to recommend that the client consult with independent counsel before deciding whether or not to consent to future conflicts of interest [comment on Rules 3.4-2 of the Lawyers` Code and section 11 of Directive 9 of the Paralegal Conduct Guidelines].