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Representation of Opposing Parties or Interests - 14134_304
Keeping the Client Informed To the client his or her case may represent one of the most important things in his or her life. The case may also be a source of anxiety. Naturally he or she expects and is entitled to receive a continuing report on the progress of the case. This maybe done with little or no extra effort on either your part or the legal assistance attorney’s  part  by  sending  copies  of  correspondence  to the  client,  or  by  an  occasional  telephone  call  to  report the status of the case. A periodic letter, even though there is little to report, will be appreciated. This shows that the legal assistance attorney has not allowed the matter to be buried or forgotten. This could be done by the legal assistance office staff on a monthly diary basis to save the lawyer’s time. Each month a brief status report from individual case records could be prepared, reviewed by the legal assistance attorney, and sent to the client concerned to bring him or her up to date on the status of the case. Legal Assistance References To help the legal assistance client, you should be familiar with the various reference materials available in  the  office  where  you  work.  Some  of  these  reference materials are common for all legal assistance offices and included in these are the  Legal  Assistance  Handbook, DA  PAM  27-121;  the   Voting   Assistance   Guide, NAVEDTRA  46007;  the  All  States’  Income  Tax  Guide published  by  OJAG,  U.S.  Air  Force;  the  Legal Assistance Newsletters  published by OJAG, U.S. Navy; the Military  Personnel  Manual  (MILPERSMAN);  and the  Manual   of   the   Judge   Advocate   General (JAGMAN). Additional reference materials will vary from  office  to  office  depending  on  the  geographical location of the office and the types of services provided by that office. LEGAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES The  scope  of  the  practice  of  law  and  the  legal assistance attorney’s duties and responsibilities are governed  by  JAGINST  5801.2.  Advice  and  service regarding the following matters are normally available to  eligible  persons  at  legal  assistance  offices,  but  may be limited due to availability of resources: .  Basic  wills,  trusts,  and  estate  planning— Complex estate planning and drafting is not routinely provided  in  the  legal  assistance  program. .  Domestic  relations—Advice  about  the  legal  and practical  implications  of  divorce,  legal  separation, annulment,  custody,  and  paternity  is  provided. Assistance  in  domestic  violence  cases  will  be  consistent with the Department of the Navy Family Advocacy Program,  SECNAVINST  1752.3. .  Adoption  and  name  changes—Advice  and document  preparation,   including  pleadings,  are provided  as  appropriate. l   Nonsupport   and   indebtedness—Advice   and assistance,  including  communication,  correspondence, and negotiations with another party or lawyer, on behalf of  the  client,  are  provided  as  appropriate. c Taxes—Basic advice and assistance on federal, state, and local taxes are provided as appropriate, Legal assistance  attorneys  do  not  sign  returns  as  paid preparers, nor do they normally prepare tax returns. Landlord-tenant relations—Advice and assistance  including  review  of  personal  leases  and communication and correspondence in behalf of the client  are  provided  as  appropriate. . Civil suits—Advice and appropriate assistance are given. In-court representation is prevented, except as provided in the expanded legal assistance program. Procedures and requirements of small claims courts and other  courts  of  limited  or  special  jurisdiction  are explained  and  appropriate  referral  made.   Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act—Advice and  assistance  are  provided  as  appropriate  about  the protection afforded and the effect of the act on the client. .  Criminal matters—Limited general advice may be  provided  regarding  minor  (misdemeanor)  criminal matters and traffic offenses within the jurisdiction of the civilian courts. Serious criminal matters are not within the scope of legal assistance and are referred to military defense  counsel  or  private  civilian  attorneys,  as appropriate. l  Other services—Advice and assistance are given on powers of attorney, real estate, bankruptcy, contracts, consumer   affairs,   insurance,   immigration, naturalization, and other areas if not inconsistent with legal  assistance  regulations.  Advice  and  assistance regarding military matters may be provided subject to the  limitation  stated  in  the  JAGMAN. LIMITATIONS ON SCOPE OF LEGAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES Persons requiring the advice or assistance of an attorney on a personal legal matter, as contrasted with a 11-5

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