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Can a paralegal dating a client create a conflict of interest?

Ocilla, GA |

Would a paralegal dating a client be in violation of ethical codes if I did not work on the case? People date all the time @ work, and I spent personal time w/a client & one day he walked in the firm & a colleague said I was acting nervous & even peeked out the window 2 watch me while we talked outside, after fishing around they found out we did...well you know & now the Attorney wants to know what happened. Did I do something wrong? when I didn't even work on the case? I think they're just being Nosey, I mean the Attorney acts like I cheated on him or something & even said in a meeting just b/c a handsome man comes in doesn't mean we lift our skirts & everyone laughed in private I told him I can't believe he said that & he said stop riding every guy who walks pass you, that really hurt

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Conflicts of interest exist between attorney and client. If the attorney employs someone that has a personal relationship with a client that can cause a problem for the attorney. For example, if this is a divorce client, and the other side deposes the client about other relationships and the client's answer is different that what the attorney knows, that's a problem for the attorney (your employer).

When employees cause problems for employers, employees get fired. That's why I'm think your problem is an employment problem, not a conflict-of-interest problem.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

Thank you so much, so the Attorney I work for should fire me, despite all my hard work I've done with this firm, I've been the one to get info, that was a make or break for us, so he should just fire me b/c I happen to have spent personal time with a client and that hads never happened before, this particular situation we just happen to bond & the Attorney I work for just happens to be his lawyer everyone acts as if I conducted myself in an unprofessional manner when everyone dates in the workplace. I hate I ever posted anything about it now

John Arnold Steakley

John Arnold Steakley

Posted

You aren't dating in the workplace. That would be dating a co-worker. You're dating a client. That's different. Attorneys can't date clients either. I'm not saying it never happens, I'm just saying it can turn into a mess and most lawyers know better. How about when this client gets mad at the lawyer for something and files a bar complaint. Are you going to side with the attorney (your boss) or the client?

Posted

You don't have an attorney ethical issue - you have an employment problem. I am changing the topic to employment. Of course, the lawyer (or accountant or most other professionals) are right to be concerned about relationships between clients and staff. The extent of such concern depends on the facts. Obviously it is a problem.

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2 comments

Asker

Posted

Okay, how is this an employment problem? I did not work on the case b/c I knew we were seeing each other. I know how to conduct myself in a professional manner and where my lines are drawn as a paralegal, I have never done anything to draw concern to the legal team I work with.

Scott Benjamin Riddle

Scott Benjamin Riddle

Posted

It is evident from your post it is a problem.