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HU Legal Administration in The Last Several Decades Analysis

 

(a) A legal assistant in your law firm is working on a research project for a class that she is taking. She spends two hours doing personal research for her project on a computerized legal-research service that charges the firm several dollars per minute of online time.  The legal assistant bills the two hours to a major client’s file, assuming that no one will ever learn what she has done. You happen to be sitting at the terminal  next to her, and you notice that she bills the time to one of the firm’s clients.  What should you do?  What would you do if you learned that your supervising attorney had billed personal research time to a client’s file?  Research a case law on the internet about billing and ethics and relate this case to the question.

(b) March Sims, a paralegal in your firm is instructed by his supervising attorney, Sam Felder, to file a complaint in federal court.  Because the federal courthouse is an hour’s drive from their office, Sam also tells Marc to take Sam’s cellular phone with him and to make a number of follow-up calls relating to other clients’ cases while Marc is driving to and from the courthouse.  Sam instructs Marc to record the exact amount of time that he spends driving, so that Sam can bill the client for this travel time.  Sam also asks Marc to keep track of time he spends making telephone calls concerning the other clients’ cases, so Sam can also bill those clients for the time Marc spends making calls on their behalf.  Is it ethical of Sam to bill Marc’s time in this way?  If Marc follows Sam’s instructions, will he be acting unethical in any way?  Use case law to support your response.

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