California Bar Journal
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IMPORTANT NOTICE: This article is provided solely for research and archival purposes. MCLE self-study credit is no longer available. Even if you follow the instructions and submit payment you will not be granted MCLE self-study credit. Please note that low-cost MCLE is provided by the California Lawyers Association, pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 6056.


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Self-Assessment Test
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Answer the following questions after reading the MCLE article on legal ethics. Use the answer form provided to send the test, along with a $20 processing fee, to the State Bar. If you do not receive your certificate within four week, call Ibrahim Bah at 415/538-2028.

1. There is no risk management value to preparing forms, formulating guidelines and office procedures in advance to providing new types of legal services in a lawyer's practice.

2. There have been few if any claims for legal malpractice arising solely from delivering unbundled legal services. 

3. A lawyer may not ethically limit the scope of his legal services to serving as a scrivener in preparing a marital settlement agreement.

4. Any limitations concerning the scope of a lawyer's representation should be stated explicitly and completely. 

5. Every agreement limiting the scope of the legal services must be in writing.

6. If a lawyer serving as a lawyer scrivener believes that the parties' agreement is grossly unfair or against public policy, the lawyer should decline to act as a scrivener. 

7. Giving the client a written statement of the scope of legal services a lawyer intends to provide assists the client in understanding the limitations of the lawyer's services.

8. A lawyer need not advise joint clients seeking scrivener services to seek independent legal counsel and advice regarding any written disclosure and consent to joint representation and any work product prepared by the lawyer.

9. The scope of legal services can be structured in prose text or as a checklist of tasks for which lawyer and client each will be responsible.

10. If the scope of legal services is properly limited, a lawyer is not required to do anything for the client outside of the scope of those services.

11. A lawyer performing a scrivener role in giving legal form to a document may assist the parties in negotiation of the agreement.

12. A lawyer performing a scrivener role may obtain the agreement of the parties to add any standard legal provisions normally found in the type of agreement requested.

13. A lawyer serving as a scrivener must refuse to provide other legal services requested jointly by the clients.

14. A lawyer serving as a scrivener can refuse to advise the parties jointly about the pros and cons of their agreement

15. Representation of two or more clients as a lawyer scrivener never involves a potential or actual conflict of interest.

16. The conflict rules require oral disclosure only of the relevant circumstances of joint representation in a single matter. 

17. Informed written consent is defined as the client's written agreement to the representation following written disclosure. 

18. If a lawyer receives conflicting instructions from clients so that the lawyer cannot follow one client's instruction without violating another client's instructions, the lawyer may choose which instruction the lawyer believes is the best.

19. A lawyer has a duty to disclose a pre-existing relationship with one client that would adversely affect the lawyer's independent judgment on behalf of the other client.

20. A lawyer must also disclose to joint clients that in the event of future arbitration or litigation between the parties, and one or both parties desired the lawyer to give evidence, the attorney-client privilege would be waived.