Legal Ethics: Initial Client Interview Name Institutional Affiliation The decision as to whether Peter Paralegal was ethically justified to undertake the tasks that were assigned to him by the supervisor depends on the applicable provisions of the law as well as the provisions of the American Bar Association regarding the tasks and functions of the legal officers in specified areas of jurisdictions. In the context of the American Bar Association a paralegal officer is simply a person who has been qualified through education training or practice to work for a lawyer in a law office government agency or for a corporation ("Model Rules of Professional Conduct: Table of Contents The Center for Professional Responsibility " n.d.). There are distinct in different and separate cases. According to the provisions of the Model Rule of professional conduct regarding the positional conflict the absence of a proper consent from the client forbids a lawyer from representing the client in the case if there is a positional conflict. However both the clients and the lawyer can meet and agree on the representation. There will however still exist a conflict of interest and this can jeopardize the case. The primary risk involved in partiality of the lawyer in as far as fair representation of the cases is concerned. Succinctly there will be perfect “pulling the punch” by the lawyer and this can be of advantage or disadvantage to one client. References http://www.americanbar.org/groups/professional_responsibility/publications/model_rules_of_professional_conduct/model_rules_of_professional_conduct_table_of_contents.html http://lalegalethics.org/louisiana-rules-of-professional-conduct/article-1-client-lawyer-relationship/rule-1-7-conflict-of-interest-current-clients/ [...]
Instructions Peter Paralegal has been asked to conduct the initial client interviews of two new clients by his supervising attorney at Honest Law firm. The clients are Big Box Discount Shoppe (“Big Box”) and Value Mart. Big Box and Value Mart are business competitors, and Peter’s supervising attorney has asked Peter to obtain information on their cases to determine whether or not a conflict of interest exists. Peter’s supervising attorney has also asked him to do the following tasks: Prepare initial interview questions for the Big Box and Value Mart interviews. Prepare fee agreement documents for Big Box and Value Mart. Explain fee agreement and establish the attorney-client relationship with Big Box and Value Mart if Peter determines that there is no conflict of interest. Draft initial pleadings and responses for Big Box and Value Mart. Call and interview any witnesses identified by Big Box and Value Mart that might have information on the cases. Draft and sign initial case evaluation letters and mail them to Big Box and Value Mart. Peter conducts the initial interviews with Big Box and Value Mart. Big Box would like the Honest Law firm to represent them in a workers compensation case where their employee allegedly injured their back while at work. Value Mart would like the Honest Law firm to represent them in a case where a customer allegedly slipped, fell, and suffered injury on some ice in the Value Mart parking lot. In a 2–3 page paper, in the following order please discuss: Whether Peter Paralegal can ethically perform each of the tasks assigned to him by his supervising attorney (tasks 1–6). Explain whether the task would be considered UPL and explain why or why not. Also, make sure to cite to the relevant ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct and any comments to the Rule that may clarify your position. Discuss whether the Honest Law firm can ethically represent both Big Box and Value Mart, and explain whether or not there is a conflict of interest. Define what is meant by a "positional conflict" (also known as an “issue conflict.”) Is it a conflict of interest for an attorney to take inconsistent legal positions in different cases for different clients? Why or why not? (Refer to the Comments to Rule 1.7 in your analysis Make sure to apply and discuss the relevant ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct. Reminders: Please prepare an APA formatted cover sheet with your memorandum. Do not forget to indicate which Unit the assignment is for Be sure to avoid the use of first person. Instead convey your research utilizing third person. Keep all font color consistent throughout. If you copy and paste a link and it is in blue, hover your mouse over the link, right click and select “REMOVE HYPERLINK” to keep the font color black like the rest of your submission. Use size 12 Times New Roman font. Utilize in text citations. If a reference is listed in your reference page, it must be included within the body of your submission as well. Prepare an APA formatted reference page. Proofread your submission for any grammatical or sentence structure errors. Also, please refer to the rubric for this assignment. Submit your Assignment in a timely manner. Do not hesitate to ask for assistance should you need it.