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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 62833 Find in a Library
Title: ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS OF EMPLOYING PARALEGALS IN FLORIDA
Journal: FLORIDA BAR JOURNAL  Volume:53  Issue:1  Dated:(JANUARY 1979)  Pages:14-20
Author(s): J E LEHAN
Corporate Author: Florida Bar
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Florida Bar
Tallahassee, FL 32304
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE POSITION OF THE FLORIDA LEGAL PROFESSION REGARDING WHAT PARALEGALS MAY APPROPRIATELY DO AND WHAT THEY SHOULD NOT DO IN ASSISTING LAWYERS IS OUTLINED.
Abstract: THE PROVISIONS OF THE CODE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY MOST APPLICABLE TO PARALEGALS ARE IN EC 3-6 AND DR 3-104, WHICH WERE PROMULGATED BY THE FLORIDA SUPREME COURT ON FEBRUARY 11, 1976. PRIOR TO FEBRUARY 1976, EC 3-6 HAD FOLLOWED EC 3-6 FROM THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION CODE WHICH SAID IT WAS PERMISSIBLE FOR A LAWYER TO DELEGATE LEGAL WORK IF THAT WORK IS SUPERVISED BY THE LAWYER AND HE/SHE ASSUMES RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT. THE NEW EC 3-6 DEFINES THE TYPE OF PROPERLY DELEGATED WORK AS BEING THAT WHICH THE LAWYER PERSONALLY APPROVES AND WHICH MERGES INTO THE LAWYER'S OWN WORK PRODUCT. IT ALSO GIVES EXAMPLES OF WORK THAT CANNOT BE DESIGNATED SUCH AS CLIENT COUNSELING AND PARTICIPATION IN JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS. DR 3-104 IN THE FLORIDA CODE, WHICH IS NOT CONTAINED IN THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION CODE, IS THE FIRST DISCIPLINARY RULE DIRECTLY DEALING WITH PARALEGALS AND DOES THE FOLLOWING: (1) PUTS INTO THE FORM OF A DISCIPLINARY RULE THE PORTION OF THE CLARIFIED AND EXPANDED EC 3-6 WHICH GIVES EXAMPLES OF WHAT MAY NOT BE DELEGATED; (2) STATES THAT THE PUBLIC MAY NOT BE LED TO BELIEVE THAT A PARALEGAL IS A FLORIDA LAWYER; (3) REQUIRES THAT A LAWYER, IN USING THE SERVICES OF PARALEGALS, EXERCISE A HIGH STANDARD OF CARE TO ASSURE COMPLIANCE BY THE NONLAWYER WITH THE APPLICABLE PROVISIONS OF THE CODE; (4) MAKES IT CLEAR THAT A PARALEGAL CANNOT WORK INDEPENDENTLY FROM THE LQWYER-EMPLOYER AND THAT THE LAWYER MUST BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL DELEGATED WORK; AND (5) INCORPORATES INTO THE DISCIPLINARY RULES CONCEPTS IN EC 3-6 CONCERNING A PARALEGAL'S COMMUNICATIONS WITH PARTIES OUTSIDE THE EMPLOYER'S OFFICE. A TABLE IS PROVIDED TO SHOW THE APPROVED AND INADVISABLE ACTIVITIES OF PARALEGALS IN AREAS OF GENERAL ACTIVITY, IDENTIFICATION OF PARALEGALS TO A THIRD PARTY, LITIGATION, REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS, AND PROBATE. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Code of ethics; Florida; Paralegals
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62833

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