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Standard 1.1‑2 on Prohibition Against Interference in the Representation of Clients

 Standard 1.1‑1Table of Contents | Standard 1.1‑3


The governing body and its individual members must not interfere directly or indirectly in the representation of any client by a practitioner of the legal aid organization.


Neither a governing body nor its members should interfere with the attorney‑client relationship. A governing body is permitted to set priorities for the organization which may limit an organization's involvement in broadly identified categories of cases, but such limits must be established before a case is accepted. Once representation in a particular case has been undertaken, interference by the governing body is strictly prohibited. The governing body cannot have access to confidential information relating to the representation of the organization's clients, as such bodies that stand outside the attorney-client relationship established with the practitioner,and the members of the governing body do not and cannot have an attorney-client relationship with the organization's clients.Moreover, lawyers employed, paid, or recommended by the organization cannot ethically allow the organization's governing body or its members to direct or regulate their professional judgment in providing representation. 

An exception to this prohibition on sharing confidential client information may occur in the context of the client grievance procedure where a client gives informed consent to the disclosure of confidential information for the limited purpose of allow the complaint to be reviewed. In such situations, the governing body or a duly-selected committee may inquire into the conduct of a case by an organization's practitioner, but the body cannot specifically direct the practitioner to undertake or to refrain from any action in the case.