As a paralegal working with different attorneys, the author has to handle substantial amounts of confidential information. As Cannon and Aytch state, the attorney’s duty to protect this information extends to their paralegal assistant (55). In the scenario, there are opportunities for accidental exposure through monitors or files left in the fax machine.
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The paralegal worker has to take care to avoid any potential information exposure to third parties, such as paying attention to the fax and retrieving arriving files immediately. Campbell et al. recommend putting away or concealing client paperwork before meeting other clients (272), and, in the case of digital files, the same applies to monitors and opened documents.
Each of the lawyers in the office is a solo practitioner, and they may engage in cases where they are opposed to each other. As the paralegal works for each of them, essentially changing their employment, their access to confidential information from the other side creates a conflict of interest (Traina Donnes 139).
I have gained an understanding of the specifics of confidentiality as it applies to digital media from the learning materials. In my future work, I will design monitor arrangements and data systems to avoid any possible leaks while also monitoring incoming communications.
The ethical problem in the assignment is confidentiality guaranteed to the client, which has to be protected. Consequently, the social issue is the trust in lawyers to preserve this confidentiality, without which their services would be nearly impossible.
The topic of conflicts of interest is confusing because it adds a layer of complexity to a paralegal career and job selection. I have not yet asked anyone for assistance in understanding it, but I will likely do so soon.
Campbell, Marisa Szabo, et al. Introduction to Law for Paralegals: A Critical Thinking Approach. 7th ed., Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2019.
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Cannon, Therese A., and Sybil Taylor Aytch. Concise Guide to Paralegal Ethics. 5th ed., Wolters Kluwer Law & Business, 2018.
Traina Donnes, Cynthia. Practical Law Office Management. 4th ed., Cengage Learning, 2016.