Prior to being hired by Jane Hendrick, Bob Worth had been supporting the lawyers at Smith & Smith in a small asset-purchase transaction on behalf of Atkins Co.The seller, Baily Ltd., is represented by none other than Jane Hendrick.
Until such time as both sides step back and learn the art of business relationships, effective communication, and good feedback skills, the working relationship will suffer and both sides will have great stress.
Lawyers tend to underestimate the project, tend to assume that the paralegal understands what needs to be done, doesn’t allow time for questions, doesn’t give information, and then when the project is not delivered as the lawyer thought tends to judge the paralegal on lack of performance. Part of what I do is to resolve conflict within a workplace, attempt to establish a positive work culture, and establish relationships that allow everyone to work effectively in an open and honest atmosphere.
However, a lawyer's ethical obligations when working with paralegals are relatively straightforward and, with some care, need never be the cause of an unpleasant discussion between the lawyer and his governing bar disciplinary committee. Jane Hendrick, a lawyer with a five-person firm, has just hired Bob Worth, a paralegal, to assist with the firm's general nonlitigation work.
Bob Worth is currently employed by Smith & Smith, another small firm in the same city.
A client includes a client of the firm of which the paralegal is a partner or associate, whether or not the paralegal handles the client’s work.