Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Ethics Of Outsourcing Legal Work

The San Diego Bar Association has issued an opinion addressing ethical concerns where a law firm outsources legal work on behalf of a client. The opinion holds that, under the hypothetical presented, the firm would not be aiding the unauthorized practice of law or violate its ethical duty of competence. The overall conclusion:

"The Committee concludes that outsourcing does not dilute the attorney’s professional responsibilities to his client, but may result in unique applications in the way those responsibilities are discharged. Under the hypothetical as we have framed it, the California attorneys may satisfy their obligations to their client in the manner in which they used Legalworks, but only if they have sufficient knowledge to supervise the outsourced work properly and they make sure the outsourcing does not compromise their other duties to their clients. However, they would not satisfy their obligations to their clients unless they informed the client of Legalworks' anticipated involvement at the time they decided to use the firm to the extent stated in this hypothetical." (Mike Frisch)

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