When confronted with signs of dementia or other cognitive impairments in a new client, what are the proper steps that an attorney should take when forming a client-lawyer relationship? The Model Rules of Professional Conduct require attorneys to maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with a client with diminished capacity. However, a lawyer’s actions may be called into question if a transaction is later challenged and certain precautions were not taken by the lawyer.
A client with diminished capacity is more vulnerable to threats, fraud, undue influence, and manipulation. What protective actions can an attorney make to help minimize the risk that the client will be taken advantage of?
Join Rebecca A. Hobbs, a Certified Elder Law Attorney and ElderCounsel member, as she discusses ethical dilemmas that elder law attorneys face every day when representing clients with diminished capacity. Rebecca will take an in-depth look at Model Rule 1.14 and discuss protective measures an attorney can take to help limit their client’s vulnerability.
1 Ethics CLE
Rebecca is a Partner at the law firm of O’Donnell, Weiss and Mattei, P.C., where she practices in the areas of Elder Law, Special Needs Planning, Guardianship, and Estate and Trusts. Rebecca is Certified as an Elder Law Attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation as authorized by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. She is licensed to practice in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Rebecca is an accredited attorney for the preparation, preservation and prosecution of claims for veterans’ benefits before the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2019, 2018, and 2017 Rebecca was selected for inclusion by the Pennsylvania Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in the field of elder law. As the National Director of ElderLawAnswers, she hosts a monthly Podcast and Webinar on elder law and marketing topics.