Identical to model rule. "When 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." Me. Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.14 (a). "A client with diminished capacity often has the ability to understand, deliberate upon, and reach conclusions about matters affecting 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. "[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." 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." Id. comment 4. "It may be that the client's right to control the choice of objectives during the professional relationship must be honored by the attorney under all but the most extreme circumstances. There seems to be general agreement that the attorney may only participate in or contribute to an interference with that right when he reasonably concludes that the client has demonstrated an incapacity to decide. When that threshold has been crossed, however, we conclude that the attorney's duty to act in the client's interest takes precedence over the duty to carry out the decisions the client expresses as his or her preference." Maine Bar Opinion # 84.
If a visitor or guardian ad litem is appointed, they must interview the allegedly incapacitated person and the proposed guardian, and visit the proposed home. Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 18-A, § 5-303(c). The visitor or guardian ad litem must “explain the meaning and possible consequences of the requested appointment to the allegedly incapacitated person and inquire if the person wishes to attend the hearing, to contest any aspect of the proceedings or to seek any limitation of the proposed guardian’s powers.” Id. If the visitor or guardian ad litem determine that the allegedly incapacitated person wants to contest any issue and does not have counsel, they must note this in the report. Id. At the initial hearing, the allegedly incapacitated person is entitled to “be represented by counsel, to present evidence, to cross-examine witnesses, including the physician, the visitor and the guardian ad litem.” Id. The hearing may be closed by request. Id.