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jpymento

Need some help

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There are two issues that came up while I was reading through this thread that I wanted to discuss: confidentiality and conflicts:

 

(1) Confidentiality - this is the number one issue every attorney will ask (or if they don't - they aren't really thinking!). I'm not just talking about the attorneys' confidential work - I'm talking about their client's confidentiality. If you do not have a clear way to show that you understand how important an attorney's client's confidentility is and that you have taken care if it in terms of your technology, equipment and processes -- you are not likely to gain many clients. Places to start are to only use encrypted e-mail (if you have to use e-mail at all); secure transfer technology (such as www.sendthisfile.com) or a secure page on your website for each client to upload/download files. Definately, confidentiality language in your Professional Services Agreement is a must and if you have any subcontractors - they need to agree to the same stringent confidentiality language as you (and understand it).

 

(2) Conflicts - this is a bit more tricky in terms of the administrative/legal assistant role. I believe paralegals are considered part of the "professional" staff in a law firm and therefore may be required to provide conflict checking; however, the last time I researched this issue there was no requirement (government or through the Bar) for legal secretaries and assistants to do conflict checks. With that said, anyone providing legal virtual assistance needs to be aware that you cannot work both sides of the fence - so if you are working for Attorney/Client A and Attorney/Client C is the adversary - it would not be right for you to assist them both. However, this would be a pure business decision - and not due to any requirement.

 

 

 

 

 

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