Thursday, May 3, 2007

Commentary: A Conspicuous Hole in Ethics Training

Paralegal Cindy Lopez's Commentary: A Conspicuous Hole in Ethics Training discusses the one group that does not get subjected to rigorous ethics courses: paralegals. Most of the time, ethics are not an issue with paralegals until a problem arises. Some of the most common ethical violations are:
  • Paralegals and support staff failing to properly identify themselves in telephone and written communications, leaving the impression they were attorneys;
  • Paralegals and support staff giving advice in response to questions from clients;
  • Paralegals and staff engaging in conversations with clients in the reception area in front of other clients; and
  • Staff lecturing, berating clients or being otherwise disrespectful to clients or court personnel.

Side note: ALWAYS be nice to court personnel. These are the people that can get your paperwork approved, or find a way to move it to the bottom of the pile. Plus, they work at the court. That can't be fun.

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