Chapter 2 two ethics civ lit 2


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Chapter 2 two ethics civ lit 2

  1. 1. Ethics and Professional Responsibliity Civil Litigation II Chapter 2
  2. 2. Ethics and Model Rules of Professional Conduct• ethics -minimally acceptable conduct• model rules of professional conduct-Codified rules of acceptable conduct
  3. 3. Rules of Professional Conduct• States adopt a version of rules of professional conduct for attorneys• Rules generally enforced by a disciplinary process which will mete out punishment ranging from private warnings to disbarment
  4. 4. Paralegals and Rules of Professional Conduct• In states where paralegals are not licensed, the rules of professional conduct for do not regulate the paralegals• Attorneys are responsible for the actions of their paralegals
  5. 5. Principal/Agent Attorney/Paralegal• Principals are the supervisor of a representative, or an agent• Attorneys stand in the role of a principal to the agent-paralegal• Most states impose a duty of responsibility upon the attorney to supervise
  6. 6. Supervising Attorney• Under the rules of professional conduct, the supervising attorney of a paralegal is required to directly oversee the paralegal’s work
  7. 7. Unauthorized Practice of Law• unauthorized practice of law (UPL) is a serious violation of the rules of professional conduct and usually a violation of the criminal laws of a state
  8. 8. Paralegals and UPL• What constitutes the practice of law? Legal advice, setting fees and accepting cases, appearing in court• Most states require the work of a paralegal to be supervised by an attorney, otherwise it constitutes the unauthorized practice of law
  9. 9. Conflicts of Interest I• All clients are owed a duty of loyalty; that is, the attorney must be committed to the client’s representation without any other competing interests• When an attorney has an interest thayt is in direct conflict with their client’s interest, this is a conflict of interest
  10. 10. Conflicts of Interest II• Attorney’s have a fiduciary relationship with their client; that is, they must always act with the client’s interest as their foremost goal
  11. 11. Conflict of Interest III• Conflict checks are often the responsibility• Conflict checks are often done through office management software, which, through a database, searches for matches in the office’s past and present client lists
  12. 12. Shifting Loyalties• When attorneys and paralegals change employment, they must address conflict issues• If, when joining a new firm, that firm is involved in cases that attorney or paralegal previously worked on, these cases present a problem of conflicting interests
  13. 13. Ethical Walls• Ethical walls or “Chinese walls” are devices used to avoid conflict of interest when attorney or paralegal change firms• Ethical walls or “Chinese walls” are rules that prevent the legal professional from participating in cases in their new firm that they may have worked on in their old firm
  14. 14. Confidentiality• Duty to preserve confidentiality is one of cornerstone’s of attorney-client relationship• Maintaining that which is shared with counsel during relationship
  15. 15. Confidentiality II• Technology has brought new challenges, since ways to lose confidentiality grow: poor computer security, sloppy handling of electronic information, or inadvertent disclosure of information during electronic discovery process.
  16. 16. Candor to the Tribunal• The tribunal consists of an adjudicator of the law and a trier of fact• Attorney has a duty of candor to that tribunal
  17. 17. Duties of Candor
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