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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Paralegal Giving Legal Advice

    My question relates to legal practice in the state of: NY


    Paralegal works for Law Firm A, they are giving legal advice and have drawn up such court docs (ex. OSC, replies etc.) at this firm for a client (Paralegals family member) NOT represented by Firm A (Client is rep'd by Law Firm B and this firm does not in any way employee the Paralegal).

    The Paralegal is emailing the docs and advice to Firm B and CC-ing the client from Law Firm A (where Paralegal works).

    While I understand Paralegal IS working for an attorney, is what is being done in any way unethical or illegal?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    7,941

    Default Re: Paralegal Giving Legal Advice

    You say the paralegal is CC-ing the client from law firm A. What client? The only client you mention is the paralegal's family member who you state is not represented by A but by B.

    As far as drawing up docs is concerned, it is a normal paralegal function. I'm not sure about the giving of legal advise but some states have exceptions for paralegals working under the direction of an attorney. As long as the paralegal is drawing up the docs for the person not represented by A on their own time, I don't see anything illegal/unethical. If they are consulting the firm's lawyers or doing it on company time, there is definitely an ethical issue if not a legal one.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    2

    Default Re: Paralegal Giving Legal Advice

    I apologize for the confusion.

    The client is rep'd by Law Firm B. The Paralegal is employed by Law Firm A.

    The Paralegal IS getting advise from the attorney who they are employed by. Paralegal IS drawing up the documents, giving legal advise and emailing both during their work hours at Law Firm A. The email used is the Paralegals employment email. These emails are then sent to the client (the family member) of Law Firm B and the client's attorney there.
    .

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Paralegal Giving Legal Advice

    If the paralegal is passing along forms and advice she's obtained through her discussions with a licensed attorney, and the materials she provides are also being vetted by a second, independent attorney, I doubt that there's a problem. If the paralegal is truly concerned, she can drop her relative from the communication she sends to his lawyer.

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