Identical to model rule. “When a client’s capacity to make adequately considered decisions in connection with the representation is diminished, whether because of minority, mental impairment or for some other reason, the lawyer shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the client.” Ariz. Sup. Ct. Rule 42, R.P.C. Ethics Rule 1.14. “A client with diminished capacity often has the ability to understand, deliberate upon, and reach conclusions about matters affecting the client’s own well-being.” Id. at Comment 1. “The fact that a client suffers a disability does not diminish the lawyer’s obligation to treat the client with attention and respect. Even if the person has a legal representative, the lawyer should as far as possible accord the represented person the status of client, particularly in maintaining communication.” Id. at Comment 2. “The client may wish to have family members or other persons participate in discussions with the lawyer. Nevertheless, the lawyer must keep the client’s interests foremost and, except for protective action…must look to the client, and not family members, to make decisions on the client’s behalf.” Id. at Comment 3. “If a legal representative has already been appointed for the client, the lawyer should ordinarily look to the representative for decisions on behalf of the client….If the lawyer represents the guardian as distinct from the ward, and is aware that the guardian is acting adversely to the ward’s interest, the lawyer may have an obligation to prevent or rectify the guardian’s misconduct. Id. at Comment 4.
On the filing of a petition, “the alleged incapacitated person shall be interviewed by an investigator appointed by the court and shall be examined by a physician, psychologist or registered nurse appointed by the court.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. §14-5303(C). The investigator must also interview the proposed guardian and inspect the proposed home. Id. The investigator and examiner shall file a report with court that contains a description of the diagnoses of the person, a list of functional impairments and an explanation of how such impairments prevent the person from making decisions, an analysis of the tasks of daily living the person is capable of performing independently, a list of all medications, and a prognosis for improvement and recommendation for the most appropriate plan of care. Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 14-5303(D). At the initial hearing, the alleged incapacitated person is “entitled to be represented by counsel, to present evidence, to cross-examine witnesses, including the court-appointed examiner and investigator, and to trial by jury.” Ariz. Rev. Stat. § 14-5303(C). The hearing may be closed by request. Id.