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Modest Means Panel Rules of Membership
Article I – Purpose
The Modest Means Panel is a SERVICE of the UTAH STATE BAR that is specially structured to improve the availability of lawyers to those of moderate income.
Article II – Governance
The Modest Means Panel will be operated under the general supervision and control of the UTAH STATE BAR.
Article III – Conditions of Referral Panel Membership
- Utah State Bar members in good standing shall be eligible to register for the Modest Means Panel.
- Panel members must be engaged in the private practice of law and must maintain a law office suitable for reception of clients during normal business hours.
- Panel members must maintain professional liability insurance with a limit of at least $100,000 per occurrence.
- A panel member may elect to accept referrals in any field of law in which the member considers him or herself competent, consistent with the Utah State Supreme Court Rules of Professional Conduct for Attorneys.
- Fee disputes with referral clients shall be submitted to an appropriate Bar association fee dispute resolution program for resolution, if requested by the client.
- Panel members may not unreasonably refuse to accept a matter referred by the Modest Means Panel. Panel members must be willing to enter into alternative fee arrangements that reflect the client’s very limited financial resources and inability to obtain legal services at current market rates. Alternative payment arrangements may consist of gratuitous services; a reduction in the panel members’ normal hourly rate, a flat fee, advanced fee deposit; a reasonable payment plan; or any combination of these alternatives. Panel members agree, as a condition of choosing to accept referrals through the program, to limit their fees as follows:
|Income Level||Hourly Rate||Flat Fee|
|For prospective clients with an income between 125% and 200% of poverty level||Up to $50.00 per hour||Up to 35% of normal rates charged by this attorney for the same service|
|For prospective clients with an income between 200% and 300% of the poverty level||Up to $75.00 per hour||Up to 50% of normal rates charged by this attorney for the same service|
- If, there is reasonable cause to believe a panel member has violated the Modest Means Panel Rules, the Modest Means Committee shall notify the panel member that a hearing shall be held regarding the said violations while giving them notice to appear. If, upon the hearing, it is determined that there is such a violation, the Hearing Committee, shall or may remove the member from the Panel or take such lesser action as it deems appropriate.
- There is no fee for being a Modest Means Panel Member. The fees collected from the referrals made under the Modest Means Panel program are not subject to the Utah State Bar. Each member is responsible for obtaining the monies owed and maintaining their own financial records.
- Modest Means Panel Members shall comply with all reporting requirements, including, but not limited to, the submission of quarterly case status reports within the time specified and upon the forms provided. Any panel member who fails to comply with such reporting requirements may or shall be suspended upon ten day’s written notice but without a hearing, at the discretion of the Hearing Committee.
Article IV – OPERATIONS
- Day-to-day Modest Means Panel operations shall be under the general supervision and direction of the Utah State Bar, Lawyer Referral and Information Services (“LRIS”) Manager.
- Referrals to panel members shall be made on an impartial, rotation, county-by-county basis.
- The LRIS Committee shall establish eligibility standards for persons seeking a referral to an attorney participating in the Modest Means Panel.