ABA Formal Opinion 500 Clarifies How Duties of Competence, Communication, and Supervision

Extend to Language Access

ABA Formal Opinion 500 makes clear that Model Professional Rules of Conduct 1.1, 1.4, and 5.3 apply to language access. The opinion instructs that lawyers (1) must make assessments as to when an interpreter or translator is needed; (2) cannot make the client responsible for procuring the service; and (3) bear the responsibility for making sure that the client understands the lawyer’s advice.