Conflict of Interest Involving a Legal Assistant
Opinion rules that a firm which employs a paralegal is not disqualified from representing an interest adverse to that of a party represented by the firm for which the paralegal previously worked.
Paralegal P worked for Firm A. While working with Firm A she participated in some degree with the preparation and interviewing of two plaintiff clients. Paralegal P subsequently left Firm A of her own volition.
Firm B hired Paralegal P approximately six months after she left Firm A. Firm B represents a defendant in the case on which Paralegal P had worked while employed with Firm A. Firm B has not allowed Paralegal P to work on the file in any way.
Can Firm B continue to employ Paralegal P or does Paralegal P's previous employment with Firm A create a conflict of interest?
Firm B may continue to employ Paralegal P and continue in the case but should take extreme care to insure that P is totally screened from participation in the case.