Identical to model rule. ʺWhen a client’s capacity to make adequately considered decisions in connection with a representation is diminished...the lawyer shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the client.ʺ SCR 3.130(1.14)(a).ʺA client with diminished capacity often has the ability to understand, deliberate upon, and reach conclusions about matters affecting client's own well-being.ʺ Id. at comment 1. ʺThe 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.ʺ Id. at comment 2. ʺ[T]he lawyer must keep the client’s interests foremost and, except for protective action authorized under paragraph (b), must look to the client, and not family members, to make decisions on the client’s behalf.ʺ Id. at Comment 3. ʺIf 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.ʺ Id. comment 4. No relevant ethics opinions.
Prior to an initial hearing, an interdisciplinary evaluation report must be filed with the court…and if the court and all parties to the proceeding and their attorneys agree to the admissibility of the report or reports, the report or reports shall be admitted into evidence.” KRS § 387.540(1). The report shall be compiled by at least three individuals, at least one of which must have knowledge of the disability in question. Id. If the respondent is alleged to be disabled due to mental illness, at least one person must be a qualified mental health professional, and if the respondent is alleged to have an intellectual disability, at least one person must be a qualified mental retardation professional. KRS § 387.540(2)-(3). If the respondent is a resident of a facility for the mentally ill or developmentally disabled and the petition is filed by an employee of that facility, the petition must be accompanied by an interdisciplinary report prepared by that facility. KRS § 387.540(6). Among the listed requirements for the report are: a description of the respondent’s disabilities and environment, and an opinion on the necessity of guardianship and whether alternatives exist. KRS § 387.540(4). The respondent may file a response to the evaluation and may arrange for an independent evaluation, which will be paid for by the court if the respondent is indigent. KRS § 387.540(9)-(10). At a modification hearing, “at the request of any party or on its own initiative, the court may order an interdisciplinary evaluation of the ward….If the court and all parties to the proceeding and their attorneys agree to the admissibility of the report or reports, the report or reports shall be admitted into evidence.” KRS § 387.620(5).