Professional ethics

Can I assist my client?

I am wanting to know that if my client authorizes me to make decisions on his behalf or hires me to assist them on a matter as a consultant or assistant, can I hire an attorney on their behalf? Basically the company is designed around providing normal people with an executive assistant type experience for things they lack know how or time to deal with on a contractual basis. If I was hired to handle something like a traffic ticket (not represent them in Court or anything, just file paperwork and take care of the busy work) what would be the restrictions on me hiring a lawyer on their behalf?

Nathan’s Answer

Are you an attorney? Then you already know the answer.

If not, it is more likely they are your customers, not clients per se. Otherwise you may be running afoul of unauthorized practice of law.

The restriction on you hiring a lawyer on behalf of your customers is that a lawyer will most likely want a fee agreement between himself and the client. If there is no attorney of record, and you are sending special appearance attorneys, you are asking them to be attorney of record. Not many attorneys will do that even though it is a low risk area - nonetheless, if this gained the State Bar's attention (through the judge/commissioner) there could be problems.

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