A lawyer should take reasonable measures to prevent conflicts of interest resulting from a paralegal's other employment or interests

Pages14-17
Page 14
    Model Rule 5.3(a), Comment 2.
NFPA and NALA ethical rules require paralegals to maintain client confidences and
require that paralegals be aware of legal rules governing professional responsibility.
T NFPA G EC        
information provided by the client or acquired from other sources before, during, and after
      F NFPA G EC  
paralegal to be aware of and abide by all legal authority governing confidential information
in the jurisdiction in which the paralegal practices and prohibits an y use of confidential
information to the disadvantage of a client.
L NALA E C    A paralegal must protect the confidenc es of the
client and must not violate any rule or statute now in effect or hereafter enacted
controllin           
Likewise, NALA Guidelines state that paralegals should preserve the confidences and
            
these guidelines in order to avoid any action which would involve the attorney in a violation
of that code, or give the appearance of professional impropriety. NALA Guideline 1 and
Comment.
GUIDELINE 7: A lawyer should take reasonable measures to prevent conflicts of
        interests.
COMMENT
Lawyers must ensure that paralegals are instructed to disclose an interest that could
create an apparent or actual conflict of interest.
Loyalty and inde          
client. Model Rule 1.7, comment 1. The independent judgment of a lawyer should be
exercised solely for the benefit of his client and free from all compromising influences and
loyalt M C EC  M ‘      
responsibility to prevent conflicts of interest and potential conflicts of interest. Model Rule
5.3 requires lawyers with direct supervisory authority over a paralegal and partners/law yers
with managerial authority within a law firm to make reasonable efforts to ensure that th e
conduct of the paralegals they employ is compatible with their own professional
obligations, including the obligation to prevent conflicts of interest. Therefore , paralegals
should be instructed to inform the supervising lawyer and the management of the firm of
any interest that could result in a conflict of interest or even give the appearance of a
 T           
employment because there are instances where paralegals are employed by more than one
      T        
include personal relationships as well as instances where the paralegal may have a financial
interest (i.e., as a stockholder, trust beneficiary, or trustee, etc.) that would conflict with the
clients in the matter in which the lawyer has been employed.

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