Trial Court Brief Assignment and Client Confidentiality
This week you are working on your trial court briefs. In this
Discussion Forum, please share with each other (and with me) what you
are learning from writing this brief, what problems you are running in
to, and what solutions to those problems you have found. You may also
ask me questions about the assignment in this discussion. This way,
everyone benefits from the questions and answers. My intent is to have
you share information about the process of writing a brief of this sort –
how beneficial this is depends in large part on each of you, and how
much you participate.
Part II: Client confidentiality is a cornerstone of the legal
profession. Of course, the confidentiality requirement has implications
for supervising attorneys and also for non-lawyer employees, to include
paralegals, in a law firm. Review the American Bar Association (ABA)
Model Rules of Professional Conduct (MRPC) and answer these questions.
The link you need to get started is below.
Specifically, you will need to look at MRPCs 1.6, 5.1, and 5.3 for these
questions. You may also, of course, do outside research as you develop
a. What are a supervising attorney’s responsibilities with regard to
confidentiality? What do your state’s rules have to say on the subject?
b. What steps do you think a supervising attorney in a firm might take
to ensure employees / supervised lawyers and paralegals understand and
properly abide by the rules? Be specific.
c. The U.S. Attorney contacts Mr. Plentibux, senior partner in a law
firm, and tells him that a paralegal in the firm will be called to
testify at a criminal trial against one of the firm’s clients. Although
the U.S. Attorney does not know it, this paralegal has been working on a
civil matter involving this client. Does this implicate the
confidentiality rules? Does the U.S. Attorney have the authority to
order this paralegal to testify? If not, who does? What would be the
limits of the paralegal’s testimony, if she is ordered to testify? What
do you think would be the limits of the testimony?
to respond to at least two of your classmates’ submissions and to give
credit to your sources using Bluebook format! Additionally, your
primary submission to this forum must be AT LEAST 500 words in length
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