The April 27 article, titled “Firm DQ For Paralegal Hire Shows Nonlawyer Conflict Risks,” discusses a federal judge’s order to disqualify a firm that hired a paralegal who worked for the opponent firm in an employment case. The paralegal in question was substantially involved in the plaintiff’s case before being hired by the firm representing the defendant in that same case. Although the defendant firm outlined various steps taken to screen the paralegal from disclosing any confidential information to the defendant firm, the judge doubted the effectiveness of the screening and issued the order.
In quoted and paraphrased material, McGuireWoods attorney Tom Spahn, who frequently writes and speaks on the subject of legal ethics, said lawyers should do complete conflict checks and consider carefully before hiring staff − and they should apply the same disqualification standards to their paralegals that they apply to themselves. Subscribers can read the full text of the article at www.law360.com.