Thursday, January 29, 2009

ABA To Consider Rule Change Re: Conflicts Of Interest. Will This Affect Paralegals?

Two amendments are before the members of the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates when the 400,000 member association holds its mid-year meeting beginning February 11th.

The recommendations deal with movement of attorneys from one law firm to another that could create a conflict of interest.

Recommendation 109 offers a looser restriction than the current conflict rules regarding this movement. It requires the new firm to confirm that it has properly screened the income attorney.

Recommendation 110 does not permit firm-to-firm screening. Instead, it requires client consent. Supports say that Recommendation 110 is a compromise for members who are concerned about restrictions on attorney mobility.

Because Paralegals work under the supervision of an attorney, they are subject to the ABA's Model Rules of Professional Conduct. A conflict of interest can be created when a Paralegal (or any other member of the law firm support staff) moves from one firm to another. Therefore, the recommendation adopted by the ABA membership will most likely apply to paralegals who are changing jobs. Read the full article here.

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