Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare Assignment | Online Assignment
The attached paper, which is already written needs the second part added as explained below: Please do not change anything that has already been written, with the exception of adding sources. Chapter 2 Review of Literature is a objective, literature review of your 4 references. There are already 2 references, but an additional 2 will need to be added. No personal opinions are included in this section. Objective data only. This review is 3-4 pages, additional to what is already writtenRebecca Riffle
Student Number: 23202301
Email Address: Schnellbecca@gmail.com
ETHICAL CRITICAL THINKING
A job in a law firm may be exciting and critical to some people. In a week with Carl, the paralegal, and Attorney Howe, work together in a law firm. I have encountered some violations within their interviews, outside the law firm, and their hearing. Let me bring the violations and references to your attention.
One of the main things about being a lawyer and paralegal is to have a good bond with your client. What you know about your client needs to stay within the law firm called Attorney-Client Confidentiality. In the ABA Model a “lawyer shall not reveal information relating to representation of a client.” Also, ABA Ethical Consideration states that a “paralegal shall be aware of and fully abide by all legal authority governing confidential information.” So, your client can trust you and your job as their lawyer and paralegal. Carl had been in a couple of situations where he revealed info that was supposed to be kept confidential. On Monday, Carl had an appointment to interview Jane while also letting Zeke in. When they came into the office, Zeke sat at Attorney Howe’s Desk. Where a lot of case files were scattered all over the place where Zeke could probably see them clear as day. I would only hope Zeke will not succeed in getting something useful in that matter. Let us not forget Carl as a paralegal is not supposed to give legal advice. That was Attorney Howe’s place to state the alimony. Carl blurting out alimony while Jane walks out the door. The best thing he should have done is double check with Howe before confirming the hiring fee and be supervised being it was pretty much his very first day.
The next day, Tuesday, Jane comes in to discuss more about the alimony and Zeke. Jane admitted to that Zeke and she are not together anymore. While in the meeting another client called Mr. Howe’s office phone. The right thing to do would have been to let the phone go to voicemail or inform the receptionist so she could take care of it. Instead, he succeeded in answering the phone with no realization he was revealing another clients case in front of Jane which is called an inadvertent disclosure. Once the meeting with Jane was done, he decides to put a different time on the paper than the actual time of the meeting making the notary that will need to be fixed later. Unless he fixes the error in time before it is signed. He unfortunately did have it signed as they left. That is in another day.
When Carl was about to leave work Wednesday, the last thing he needed to do was to make a simple motion for Jane’s alimony. While on his way to the courthouse to drop off the motion, he receives a cell phone call from Jane’s ex-boyfriend, Zeke. Zeke proceeded to bring up Jane’s case while in public and Carl was not holding back on the details involving a TV. What got me the most though was while they were talking Carl was encouraging him to sue Jane. This is Carl’s client he is telling Zeke to sue. WHAT?! This violates ABA Model Rule, “A paralegal shall not use confidential information to the disadvantage of the client” or “use confidential information to the advantage of the paralegal or a third person.”
Later in that same day (Wednesday), Carl was leaving the courthouse after turning in the Jane’s motion for alimony. Carl comes across an accident near the courthouse. Once Carl arrived at the he asked Sally, “do you have a lawyer?” while they are in worried about her husband who got hit by a car while crossing the road. This would not be a good time to bring up hiring a lawyer. Some people would find this as an advertisement involving manipulation to get another client which is also called solicitation. ABA Model Rule “prohibits solicitation in person, in writing, by recording, or by phone.” Also, at the end of the day when he returned to his office from the courthouse. Jane signed interrogatories without him present. In order to get a paper notarized he had to be present when she signed the paper. Carl was not present for the signing but followed through with the notary anyway. This is considered a violation on Ethical codes because in order to have it be a complete legit notary, he has to say an oath and witness the signing by legal laws and regulations. Stated in the NFPA Rules, “A paralegal shall ensure that all timekeeping and billing records prepared by the paralegal are thorough, accurate, honest, and complete.”
On Thursday Sally and the victim’s sister appeared at the law firm, a case Howe has not approved of yet. A violation on Carl’s part because they are not supposed to accept cases without the attorney’s consent. Once Carl brought them in for their appointment the evidence, they provided was not a strong enough to make a case let alone win. Sally was not a witness of the accident because they both had their back towards the street looking at the Christmas decorations. Through the interview it did seem like Sally was not motivated to press charges. She was very emotional and not that informative over the situation. Not to mention Carl was at the scene of the accident which could be used as a disadvantage on Carl’s part of the case. Stated in the NFPA Disciplinary Rules, “a paralegal shall avoid conflicts of interest and shall disclose any possible conflict to the employer or client, as well as to the prospective employers or clients.” This is also called Conflict of Interest. Another part from ABA Ethical Consideration paralegal “shall avoid conflicts of interest that arise from . . . personal and business interests.”
The last day of this week, Friday, Jane’s hearing is supposed to proceed around 9:00 in the morning. Howe and Carl were about to head over to the courthouse when Howe got a call. It was an important call, but they needed to get to the courthouse to support Jane’s case on alimony. Instead, Howe tells Carl to go on and meet Jane at the courtroom. Once Carl got to the courthouse, he was there a little before the hearing. When the hearing was under way Howe was nowhere to be found making the law firms reputation look rather irresponsible on their part. On of the main things as a paralegal is you cannot take the place of the attorney nor go over the attorney’s head by any means. During this hearing Carl takes the responsibility of Attorney Howe because I believe he felt under pressure and did not want to lose Jane as a client. Once Howe showed up in the middle of the hearing Carl had already made most of the decisions. When the discussion was done, in front of the secretary’s desk Carl and Attorney Howe started discussing payroll where everyone can hear it including clients.
In the end, always be careful with your client’s information. It is part of your job description in a legal field to be professional and confidential to your clients needs. Always leave personal emotion and opinion of your client at the door. Never talk on the phone about a case outside or in front of another client. You are there to help your client through a tough situation and give them confidence. If you can avoid these violations Carl committed, then I believe you will be okay and prepared for your career as a paralegal. Therefore, ABA Ethical Considerations require a paralegal to “achieve competency through education, training, and work experience” and “participate in continuing education to keep informed of current legal, technical and general developments.”