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Paralegal Case Study

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Although paralegals can play a vital role in the legal team, they also must always comply with ethical limits on their participation. I am the paralegal and what do I do in this case.

You have worked closely with her and have been able to assist her by reading documents to her, and by reminding her of matters she has been forgetting. She is now schedule to prepare the key expert witness for trial and she has forgotten all of the medical information and legal strategy to be explored in the meeting. She asks you to cover the meeting, and not mention that you are the paralegal.

Do you have an ethical obligation to report this matter to the managing attorney of the law firm?
Should you let clients know about the attorney's problem?
Should you do nothing and continue to help the attorney?
What would you do?

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Step 1
You have an ethical obligation to report this matter to the managing attorney of the law firm. You have been asked to cover the meeting and not mention that you are the paralegal. This action is against the ABA Model Guidelines for the Utilization of Paralegal Service and is against the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility of the National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. The direct reason is that you have been asked ...

Solution Summary

Ethics that paralegals must follow are discussed step-by-step in this solution. The response also has the sources used.

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Evelyn Ellerbe, a paralegal, is featured.

Evelyn Ellerbe is a paralegal who works for an estate planning lawyer Timothy Taft. An elderly client, Sam Stone, comes in after his wife ides to have his will rewritten. It turns out that he is a neighbor of Evelyn, who takes a liking to Sam and begins to help him out by stopping by his house once or twice a week with groceries. After two years, during which Evelyn and Sam continue to be friends, Sam asks Timothy to rewrite his will for the purpose of leaving Evelyn half of his estate.

Is it ethical for Tim to rewrite his will for the purpose of leaving Evelyn half of his estate?

Is it ethical for Tim to draft Sam's will with this provision?

Is it ethical for Evelyn to assist in the preparation of the will?

If the will is challenged, what will the court consider in deciding whether to void the gift?

Would it make any difference to your answer if Sam had no other relatives?

Would it make any difference if Sam and Evelyn had developed a sexual relationship?

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