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Rule 1.

14 Problem

A legal services lawyer who has a client in her early 20s who has an intellectual impairment. Her
psychologist has described her as functioning intellectually at the level of a 7 to 9 year old. the
lawyers has helped this client with some health benefits issues when she was a teenager and
checks in with this client every year to file a certificate of continuing eligibility. In the course of
doing so, the lawyer learned that the client’s mother is still sending the client to a children’s
daycare center every day. The mother does not allow the client to receive adult services in the
community because she does not want to lose money from the Medicaid program from which
she currently receives benefits. The client does not have a legal guardian. However, after the
lawyer phoned the mother to raise questions about whether she should be sending her
daughter to children’s day care and pointed out that the mother was not her adult daughter’s
legal guardian, the mother initiated court proceedings to obtain guardianship of the client.
The lawyer decides to visit her client in person and go to her daycare facility. At first, the client
is afraid to talk to the lawyer, saying that she thinks her mom would be angry if she talked to a
lawyer. The client then opens up to the lawyer, however. The client tells the lawyer that her
mother makes her sit in a particular chair when she is at home so that she does not get into
trouble. The client also reports that her mother stated that she sends the client to the daycare
every day because if she is at home she will annoy her mother.
The daycare provider calls the client’s mother when the lawyer asks to speak to the client, and
about 10 minutes after the lawyer starts meeting with the client, the mother arrives at the
daycare and tells the lawyer to leave her daughter alone. The lawyer explains to the mother
that the lawyer thinks the mother can help the client get benefits so that the client can go to an
adult day care center and the mother can still bill Medicaid for these services. The mother
refuses to allow the client to sign a legal services retainer agreement and agreement for release
of information.
At one point, the client clearly states in front of her mother that she wants the lawyer to help
her get into the community more, but then the mother looks at the client and says, “tell this
lawyer we don’t want her services” and the client turns to the lawyer and says, “my mother is
right; I don’t want your services.” The client also keeps repeating, “I don’t want to go into an
awful foster care home,” something no one had been talking about, suggesting that someone
had previously put this fear in the client’s head. The lawyer suggest that she can put the client
in touch with resource providers that can help the client get a suitable job, but the mother also
refuses to allow the lawyer to proceed with this.

The lawyer now requests guidance from her supervisor on how far to go in protecting the
interests of her client against the mother without clear direction from the client.

1. How should the supervisor respond? You may use up to 4 type written, double spaced
pages to respond.