CAPITAL AREA PARALEGAL ASSOCIATION

Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility of the
Capital Area Paralegal Association

Fundamental to the success of any professional organization are the integrity of its members and a high standard of conduct. This Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility is promulgated by the Capital Area Paralegal Association and accepted by its members to accomplish these ends. Members of this organization are required to abide by the principles established herein.

These guidelines are not intended to be all-inclusive, but rather to set forth policy in basic areas requiring sound judgment on the part of a paralegal. The enumeration of these canons does not exclude others of equal importance although not specifically mentioned. A paralegal is a non-lawyer, while not admitted to the practice of law in Texas, who has, through education, training and/or experience, demonstrated knowledge of the legal system, legal principles and procedures and whose work involves the performance of substantial paralegal services in rendering direct assistance to an attorney, while under the supervision of the attorney and for whose work said attorney is responsible. In affirming this Code of Ethics, the paralegal is fully cognizant of the burden imposed upon him or her.

Canon 1. A paralegal shall not engage in the practice of law as defined by statutes or court decisions, privately, publicly, directly or indirectly, including but not limited to accepting cases or clients, setting fees, giving legal advice or appearing in a representative capacity in court or before an administrative or regulatory agency (unless otherwise authorized by statute, court or agency rules); the paralegal shall assist in preventing the unauthorized practice of law.

Canon 2. A paralegal shall not mislead the public as to such paralegal's status or position.

Canon 3. A paralegal shall not perform any of the duties that attorneys only may perform or do things which attorneys themselves may not do.

Canon 4. A paralegal shall exercise extreme care in using independent professional judgment and in determining the extent to which a client may be assisted without the presence of an attorney and shall be prohibited from independently acting in matters involving professional legal judgment.

Canon 5. A paralegal shall preserve and protect the confidences and secrets of a client and adhere to any statute controlling privileged communication.

Canon 6. A paralegal shall not solicit legal business on behalf of an attorney.

Canon 7. A paralegal shall not engage in performing paralegal functions other than under the direct supervision of an attorney and shall not advertise or contract with members of the general public for the performance of paralegal functions.

Canon 8. A paralegal shall avoid, if at all possible, any interest or association which constitutes a conflict of interest pertaining to a client matter and shall inform the supervising attorney of the existence of any possible conflict.

Canon 9. A paralegal shall maintain a high standard of ethical conduct and shall contribute to the integrity of the paralegal and legal profession.

Canon 10. A paralegal shall continually strive to maintain a high degree of competency to better assist the legal profession in fulfilling its duty to provide quality legal services to the public.

Canon 11. A paralegal shall remain current with developments in the area of law in which such assistant is engaged through continuing legal education.

Canon 12. A paralegal shall do all other things incidental, necessary or expedient to enhance professional responsibility and the participation of paralegals in the administration of justice and public service in cooperation with the legal profession.

Canon 13. The paralegal shall comply with this Code of Ethics and any enforcement procedures established by the Bylaws of this Association.

Adopted November 1983.

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