The application of the ABA model rules to a co-worker conflict. This essay describes a sticky situation within a law firm involving a co-worker on a litigation case. After working closely with a co-worker on a litigation case and ensuring that we worked exactly the same amount of time on that case, I have recently found that my co-worker has reported working two to three hours per day more than me on the case. More specifically, I believe that it violates rule 1. These rules undoubtedly state that a lawyer shall not collect unreasonable fees or an unreasonable amount for expenses ABA, It also states that the fee customarily charged is in the locality for similar legal services and that a lawyer may not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation ABA,
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The application of the ABA model rules to a co-worker conflict. This essay describes a sticky situation within a law firm involving a co-worker on a litigation case. After working closely with a co-worker on a litigation case and ensuring that we worked exactly the same amount of time on that case, I have recently found that my co-worker has reported working two to three hours per day more than me on the case.
More specifically, I believe that it violates rule 1. These rules undoubtedly state that a lawyer shall not collect unreasonable fees or an unreasonable amount for expenses ABA, It also states that the fee customarily charged is in the locality for similar legal services and that a lawyer may not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation ABA, It can be reasonably determined that neither of these rules were adhered to by the co-worker.
First, the time and labor required as detailed in Rule 1. This is supported by several facts relating to this case, including my first hand knowledge of when my co-worker worked on this case. It can be further established by conducting a comparative matrix of the hours I reported working on the case vs. Although, it is unclear in this example how long the case has been going on, if one is to make an educated guess of one month; then my co-worker has reported working approximately seventy five more hours than me.
Therefore, the fee charged to the client for his services, would not be customarily based on similar legal services ABA, Whereas my legal services were the same in this case and my fee was much lower. Thus, being completely unreasonable and fraudulent and in clear violation of the above referenced rules of professional conduct.
Taking into account the above referenced facts of this case, I am faced with an ethical decision where I must determine exactly what I should do. Utilizing Rule 8. In this situation I would first discuss the issue with my co-worker and see if we can resolve it in-house and find a way to refund the client any money that was fraudulently charged.
Then if unsuccessful, I would go about informing the supervisory staff at the firm in writing and would make sure that I had a flawless accounting of who I gave the letter to. I would further ensure that I accounted for the date and time and who was around when I gave it to them. It would be my belief that my law firm reported this to the appropriate channels or resolved the issue internally.
Either way, if the letter I submitted seemingly solved the issue with my co-worker, I would stop there. If however the issue were to continue, I would then inform the appropriate professional authority of our area. I would also inform them of the first attempt I made to notify my law firm and send along of copy of my notification letter as well. At this point, I believe that would be all that I could do in this mater to ensure that I am in compliance with Rule 8.
Aside from my obligations, the law firm does have a few options that they may exercise to resolve this issue. The firm may chose to report the lawyer to the appropriate channels requesting disciplinary measures for him. The lawyer may be subject to the disciplinary authority of both the jurisdiction and the law firm for the same conduct ABA, To summarize my application of the ABA model rules relating to this case, upon uncovering the misconduct of my co-worker I identified the rules that were being violated.
I also informed myself of any obligatory rules that may affect me in this situation. Secondly, I informed the supervisory staff of the law firm of the activities that I knew were taking place. Then if needed, I would then inform the appropriate regulatory authority of the professional misconduct that was taking place in my firm.
I would hope that my-coworker would cease his fraudulent activities after speaking with him one on one. In conclusion, fraudulent, misleading and or misrepresentative activities should not be tolerated by anyone especially people in the legal profession. Allowing someone to get away with this sort of fraud, would only chip away at your own personal integrity and would eventually migrate to your reputation and the way people and or potential clients see you.
Honesty is the best policy and the ABA model rules are in place to ensure this. Posted by.
Model Rules of Professional Conduct
A2 This is the current ethical codes of the American Bar Association. Having ascertained what information may be exchanged to detect and clear conflicts, the question remains when that information should be exchanged. ABA Home page With more thanmembers, the ABA provides law school accreditation, continuing legal education, information about the law, programs to assist lawyers and judges in their work, and initiatives to improve the legal system for the public. Each Rule is followed by a comment, explaining the Rule.
Text of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct
Primary tabs professional responsibility: an overview The legal profession has existed for over two thousand years. From the Greek city-states and the Roman Empire to present day United States, legal advocates have played a vital and active role in the formulation and administration of laws. Because of their role in society and their close involvement in the administration of law, lawyers are subject to special standards, regulation, and liability. Sometimes called legal ethics, sometimes professional responsibility, the topic is perhaps most comprehensively described as the law governing lawyers. Since lawyers are admitted to practice by states this topic is largely one of state law.