SUPREME COURT DETERMINATIONS ON PARALEGALS
For release: May 24, 1999
Contact: Robert Seidenstein
The Supreme Court today released its Administrative Determinations regarding oversight and regulation of paralegals. The determinations state that the Court has concluded that direct oversight of paralegals is best accomplished through attorney supervision rather than through a Court-directed licensing system. The Court declined to follow a recommendation of its Committee on Paralegal Education and Regulation that it establish a regulatory scheme to govern the practice of paralegals.
On another point, the determinations state, The Court agrees that the Rules of Professional Conduct [of attorneys] should be modified to describe more comprehensively the obligations imposed on attorneys by their use of paralegals. The Court referred the matter to its Professional Responsibility Rules Committee.
The Court said it supports in principle the creation and adoption of a Code of Professional Conduct for Paralegals, but prefers that it be adopted through the efforts of paralegals and attorneys and their respective associations.
In addition, the Court, while declining to have Court certification of paralegals, encouraged consideration of the development of an appropriate credentialing system by paralegals, attorneys, and their respective associations.