Law Practice Management and Technology

The Bottom Line Volume 37, No 4 October 2016

Legal Fees Threatened When Qualifications of California Paralegals are Challenged

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True or False:

  1. Legal fees can be threatened if paralegal qualifications are challenged in a state where statutes/regulations govern paralegal professionals.
  2. Fees recoverable by a prevailing party and fees legitimately charged by a firm to its own clients can both be threatened or denied completely if paralegal qualifications are challenged.
  3. In California, supervising attorneys and paralegals can be held financially and/or criminally liable if they do not ensure that paralegals employed at their firm or corporation are qualified under California Business & Professions Code 6450-6456.

The answer to all these questions is true. I have attended numerous presentations and CLEs on ethics and competency and have never heard state statutes/regulations governing paralegal professionals mentioned before. This is very surprising to me considering that state statutes and regulations governing paralegal qualifications increases the level of liability for supervising attorneys in law firms and corporations.

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