What are the ethical responsibilities of a paralegal

This preview shows page 3 - 5 out of 9 pages.

What are the ethical responsibilities of a paralegal?The Rules of Professional Conduct and Guidelines do not regulate paralegals. Paralegals who are members of national, state and local paralegal associations are required to follow the Codes of Ethics of those associations. These codes contain the following requirements, which are similar to the requirements governing the ethical conduct of lawyers:(a) Maintaining a high level of competence and personal and professional integrity;(b) Maintaining a high standard of professional conduct;(c) Serving the public interest by contributing to the delivery of quality legal services and the improvement of the legal system;(d) Preserving all confidential information provided by the client or acquired from other sources before, during and after the course of the professional relationship;
(e) Disclosing one's status and title;(f) Avoiding the unauthorized practice of law;(g) Avoiding conflicts of interest and disclosing conflicts to employers/clients and prospective employers/clients.
What are the ethical responsibilities of a lawyer who employs a paralegal?
If a paralegal's activities violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, is the paralegal's employer at fault?Yes. The lawyer employer is responsible for the paralegal's direction and ethical guidance. The supervisory measures that the lawyer applies should take account of the fact that paralegals are not subject to professional discipline. The lawyer is ultimately responsible for the work product and ethical conduct of the paralegal.How should a paralegal be identified to others?At the beginning of all professional communications with others, the paralegal shall disclose that he or she is a paralegal. The lawyer shall instruct the paralegal to make this disclosure. If the lawyer is present, the lawyer should introduce the paralegal and identify him/her as a paralegal.Scope and Purpose of GuidelinesThe Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct require members of the bar to make legal services available to the public at a price it can afford. To this end, members of the bar are employing paralegals.These guidelines supplement and clarify the principles of the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct. These guidelines provide standards for lawyers to employ paralegals in accordance

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture