Ethics: Top Ten Rules for Paralegals / Edition 1

Ethics: Top Ten Rules for Paralegals / Edition 1

by Deborah K. Orlik

ISBN-10: 013119321X

ISBN-13: 9780131193215

Pub. Date: 09/28/2005

Publisher: Prentice Hall

Product Details

Prentice Hall
Publication date:
Pearson Prentice Hall Legal Series
Edition description:
Older Edition
Product dimensions:
7.04(w) x 9.08(h) x 0.28(d)

Table of Contents

Preface to Student


Rule#1 — Have Integrity

Why Start Here

We’re in Charge of Our Own Profession

Report Violations — The Lawyer’s Duty

Report Violations — The Paralegal’s Duty

How Does This Apply to Me?

Does It Really Apply to the Paralegal?

The Threat of Disciplinary Action

Who Are “the Proper Authorities”?

Checklist for Reporting Unethical Behavior

General and Miscellaneous Misconduct Prohibited

General Misconduct and the Paralegal

Sexual Relations with the Client

Stress and Alcohol/Drug Abuse

Sexual Harassment

Proof of Unfit Character

Rule #1 Wrap Up

Rule #1 Review Questions

Rule #2 — Preserve the Confidences and Secrets of the Client

Keep the Client’s Secrets

What is “Confidential”?

Attorney/Client Privilege is Different

When is it Okay to Disclose Confidential Information?

Some Stuff That Happens is Not Confidential

One More Time: Attorney/Client Privilege is Different

Work Product is Confidential and Privileged

Technology & Confidentiality

Client Files and Confidentiality

Rule #2 Wrap Up

Rule #2 Review Questions

Rule #3 — Get and Stay Competent

What the Codes and Rules Say About Competence

Protection of the Public is the Goal

Minimum Standards

Professional Negligence

Competence in a Specific Area

Examples of Negligence

Negligent Disregard for the Client

Good Faith as a Defense

Standard of Care

Statute of Limitations in Negligence Actions

Professional Negligence Liability Insurance

Liability for Others

Rule #3 Wrap Up

Rule #3 Review Questions

Rule #4 — Charge Only Fair Fees

Fee Agreements with Clients

Contingency Fees

Hourly Billing

Other Billing Methods

Other Fee Agreement Terms — Retainers

Pro Bono Work

Recovery of Fees From the Client

Recovery of Fees From the Other Side

Referral Fees

Client Files and Fees

Rule #4 Wrap Up

Rule #4 Review Questions

Rule #5 — Make Legal Services Available

Access to Justice

Access to Information


Advertising and the Paralegal

Bad Solicitation

Good Solicitation

Corporate Clients and Solicitation

Technology and Solicitation

Direct Mail

Mass Disasters

Rule #5 Wrap Up

Rule #5 Review Questions

Rule #6 — Represent Each Client with Zeal and Dedication

Due Process as Our Cornerstone

Due Process Requirements to the Client

Due Process Requirement to the System

Where is the Boundary of the Law?

Suppressing Evidence

Fabricating Evidence

Inducing a Witness to Testify Falsely

Allowing a Witness to Testify Falsely

Making False Documents

The Practice of Deceit

Deceit is Discovery

Employees and Deceit

Harassing Jurors

Overpaying Experts

Courtesy to Opposing Counsel

Communication with Opposing Counsel

Rule #6 and the Court

Courtesy to the Court

Give the Court Only Truthful Statements

Give the Court All of the Law

Lying to the Court and Dicta

File Only Righteous Claims with the Court

Gifts to Judges

Prosecutor’s Role to Seek Justice Contrasted

Rule #6 Wrap Up

Rule #6 Review Questions

Rule #7 — Don’t Practice Law Without a License

What is the UPL?

Why Should Only Lawyers Practice Law?

Why Should We Care?

We Really Do Know What the Practice of Law is

Prohibitions on the Practice of Law by Non-Attorneys

Representing Other as UPL

Preparing Legal Documents as UPL

Advising Other and Books and Kits as UPL

What is Not UPL

Overlapping Functions — Not UPL

“Incidental to” — Not UPL

Doing Your Job — Not UPL

What About Disbarred or Suspended Lawyers?

Prohibitions Under Scrutiny

What is the Effect of UPL?

Exceptions to General UPL Rules

What is Definitely Not “Giving Legal Advice” — The Conduit Theory

Corporations and UPL

Lawyers Aiding UPL

Improper Supervision

Improper Division of Fees

Improper Business Relationships

The Lawyer’s Responsibility for Non Lawyer Personnel

Supervision and Hiring



Enforcement and UPL Regulations

Rule #7 Wrap Up

Rule #7 Review Questions

Rule #8 — Be Loyal to Each and Every Client

What is the Duty of Loyalty?

Your Outside Interests Divide Your Loyalty

Overreaching for Fraud

Transaction in Good Faith




Publicity Rights


Multiple Clients Divide Your Loyalty

Seller and Purchaser

Insured and Insurer

Husband and Wife

Debtor and Creditor

Representation of Corporations

Joint Representation of Criminal Defendants

What Others May Want

Who’s Paying the Tab?

Rule #2 Creates Conflicts of Interest

Presumption of Conflict

Who is Disqualified?

Preventing Disqualification

Ethical Wall Theory

Waiver of Conflict by Client

Appropriate Action and Possible Penalties

Rule # 8 Wrap Up

Rule #8 Review Questions

Rule #9 — Work to Improve the Legal System

Make the Law Safe

Assist in Changing the Law


Public Pro Bono Work

The Unsavory Client

Report Misconduct

Improper Use of the Law

Criticism of the Judicial System

One Last Word About Integrity

Serve in Public Offices

Rule #9 Wrap Up

Rule #9 Review Questions

Rule #10 — Don’t Even Think About It

Avoid the Appearance of Impropriety

Conflict of Interest

Exaggeration and Zeal

Protecting the Public Trust

Client Money and Trust Accounts

Relationship with the Bench

Rule #10 Wrap Up

Rule #10 Review Questions

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