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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 1032 (February 24, 2024).

231 Pa. Code Rule 14.4. Counsel.

Rule 14.4. Counsel.

 (a)  Retention of Counsel. If counsel for the alleged incapacitated person has not been retained, the petitioner shall notify the court in writing at least seven days prior to the adjudicatory hearing that the alleged incapacitated person is unrepresented and also indicate whether the alleged incapacitated person has requested counsel.

 (b)  Private Counsel. If the alleged incapacitated person has retained private counsel, counsel shall prepare a comprehensive engagement letter for the alleged incapacitated person to sign, setting forth when and how counsel was retained, the scope of counsel’s services, whether those services include pursuing any appeal, if necessary, how counsel will bill for legal services and costs and the hourly rate, if applicable, who will be the party considered responsible for payment, whether any retainer is required, and if so, the amount of the retainer. Counsel shall provide a copy of the signed engagement letter to the court upon request.

 (c)  Appointed Counsel. The court may appoint counsel if deemed appropriate in the particular case. Any such order appointing counsel shall delineate the scope of counsel’s services and whether those services include pursuing any appeal, if necessary.

 (d)  Other Counsel. Counsel for any other party shall enter an appearance in accordance with Rule 1.7(a).

Explanatory Comment

   Reasonable counsel fees, when appropriate, should be paid from the estate of the alleged incapacitated person whenever possible. If the alleged incapacitated person is unable to pay for counsel, then the court may order counsel fees and costs to be paid by the county. See 20 Pa.C.S. §  5511(c). Any fee dispute should be resolved in a timely and efficient manner to preserve resources in order to maintain the best possible quality of life for the incapacitated person.


   The provisions of this Rule 14.4 adopted June 1, 2018, effective June 1, 2019, 48 Pa.B. 3524.

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