Rule 35. Appearances in Court By Eligible Paraprofessionals
Rule 35. Appearances in Court By Eligible Paraprofessionals
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(1) A paraprofessional authorized to provide legal services pursuant to RSA 311:2-a and acting under a supervising attorney may appear in the following
(a) 1st Circuit – Family Division – Berlin;
(b) 1st Circuit – District Division – Berlin;
(c) 6th Circuit – Family Division – Franklin;
(d) 6th Circuit – District Division – Franklin;
(e) 9th Circuit – Family Division – Manchester;
(f) 9th Circuit – District Division – Manchester.
(2) A paraprofessional may represent another person in matters pursuant to RSA 173-B, RSA 458, RSA 458-A, RSA 458-B, RSA 458-C, RSA 458-D, RSA 458-E, RSA 459, RSA 461-A, RSA 540, RSA 540-A, and RSA 633:3-a, III-a through III-d, provided that:
(a) The paraprofessional is employed or retained by and acting under the supervision of an attorney admitted to practice law in this state pursuant to RSA 311:2, provided that any such attorney shall carry professional liability insurance with reasonable coverage limits that includes liability coverage for the paraprofessional;
(b) The paraprofessional has either a bachelor’s degree in any field or an associate’s degree in a law-related field, and at least 2 years of work experience in a law-related setting with attorney supervision, provided that the paraprofessional shall not be a suspended or disbarred attorney of this or any other state;
(c) The person represented receives written notice that the paraprofessional is a non-attorney acting under the supervision of an attorney admitted to practice law pursuant to RSA 311:2, including the attorney’s name, prior to the commencement of the representation;
(d) In any pleading filed with any court, the paraprofessional discloses that the paraprofessional is a non-attorney acting under the supervision of an attorney admitted to practice under RSA 311:2, and the attorney signs the pleading, unless there is no reasonable opportunity for the paraprofessional to obtain the attorney’s signature; and
(e) The person represented has household income no greater than 300 percent of the federal poverty guidelines at the commencement of
(3) A paraprofessional authorized to represent another person pursuant to this rule must comply with the Rules of Professional Conduct as set forth in Professional Conduct Rule 8.5, and shall be subject to the jurisdiction of the Committee on Professional Conduct.
(4)(a) The supervising attorney shall be a member in good standing of the Bar of this State. The supervising attorney may not have a disciplinary history with discipline greater than a public censure imposed within the last ten (10) years. With respect to the paraprofessional’s proposed appearances in any court, the supervising attorney shall file with the clerk of the supreme court the supervising attorney’s agreement to participate in the RSA chapter 311 pilot program and written consent to:
(1) supervise the paraprofessional;
(2) assume professional responsibility for the paraprofessional’s work and provide professional liability insurance with reasonable coverage limits to include such paraprofessional;
(3) assist the paraprofessional with client representation to the extent necessary;
(4) appear with the paraprofessional in courts in this State when, in the supervising attorney’s judgment, the nature of the proceeding requires the supervising attorney’s presence; and
(5) participate with the paraprofessional in all settlement or other negotiations, when in the supervising attorney’s judgment, the nature of the proceeding requires the supervising attorney’s presence and remain reasonably available for consultation with the opposing party or the opposing party’s counsel.
(b) The supervising attorney may authorize another qualified attorney in the supervising attorney’s office or law firm to provide supervision to the paraprofessional, if the supervising attorney is not immediately available.
(c) The supervising attorney shall waive the right to the confidentiality of proceedings resulting from complaints involving the paraprofessional to the Committee on Professional Conduct, for the limited purpose of permitting disclosure of such proceedings by said committee to the supreme court in connection with the court’s confidential review of a filing under this rule.
(d) The supervising attorney shall file his or her written consent promptly upon consenting to supervise a paraprofessional. Following such initial written consent, in every instance in which an attorney consents to continue supervising paraprofessionals under this rule, the attorney shall annually refile his or her written consent with the clerk of the supreme court in the month of October. The attorney shall file a withdrawal of his written consent promptly upon the termination of his or her supervision of any such paraprofessional.
(e) Nothing in this rule shall limit or otherwise modify the supervising attorney’s duties under N.H. R. Prof. Conduct 5.3. The supervising attorney shall ensure that the paraprofessional is familiar with N.H. R. Prof. Conduct 8.5, as well as the specific ethical rules enumerated therein.
(5) A paraprofessional seeking to appear pursuant to this rule shall file an appearance form approved by the court in each case in which the paraprofessional seeks to appear.
(6) When a paraprofessional appearing pursuant to this rule is the subject of a grievance filed with the Attorney Discipline Office, the attorney supervising the paraprofessional shall withdraw permission for further appearances by the paraprofessional until such time as the grievance has been resolved in the paraprofessional’s favor.
(a) If the grievance results in a finding of no misconduct, the paraprofessional may continue to appear in court under this rule;
(b) If there is a finding of misconduct, the paraprofessional may not appear in court pursuant to the rule.
(7) The supervising attorney of any paraprofessional who files an appearance under this rule shall collect the following data:
(a) the number of cases in which the paraprofessional filed an appearance and the docket number for each case;
(b) the dates of representation;
(c) the court where the appearance was filed;
(d) the referral source;
(e) the case type, identified by reference to the applicable statute; and
(f) whether the representation involved bundled or unbundled services. The supervising attorney shall submit the data tracked under this rule to the clerk of the supreme court twice annually, with reports due on or before April 15 and October 15. If the paraprofessional files any new appearances under this rule between October 15, 2024 and December 31, 2024, a final data report shall be filed no later than December 31, 2024. In the event that a participating paraprofessional has not filed any new appearances since the last report submitted, the supervising attorney shall notify the clerk of the supreme court that no additional appearances have been filed under this rule.
(8) At least thirty (30) days prior to January 1, 2025, the paraprofessional shall notify any clients he or she is then representing that the paraprofessional’s representation will terminate as of 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2024.