The two sides of Fee-Sharing Paralegals
Paralegals : Fee-sharing or in some cases described as fee-splitting is a method which involves the division of lawyer’s costs between 2 or even more legal representatives especially between the legal representative who dealt with a matter and also the attorney that referred the matter. Some states consider this practice unethical and under a lot of states’ ethical regulations, an attorney is banned from splitting a cost with non– attorney.
Because under most of the states’ moral guidelines, fee-sharing is forbidden with non– attorneys, are there fee-sharing legal assistants?
In its most obvious sense a fee-sharing paralegal is a non– legal representative who shares a part with an attorney’s fee.
The presence of fee– sharing paralegals will certainly rely on the moral rules of a state. In Columbia fee-sharing paralegals are not acknowledged. Rather they came up with the suggestion of “success fee” where in a law firm might agree with its clients depending on the outcome of a particular matter that a “success cost” will be paid to both the law firm and a consulting firm of non – attorney experts maintained by the law firm to help it about the issue. The reality that the portion of the “success fee” payable to the non – lawyer consultants moves from the customer via the law practice does not result in a “sharing” by the law office of legal fees with a non – attorney proscribed by Regulation 5.4 of their policy of conduct.
The bans on fee-sharing with paralegals and various other non-lawyers parties have been a feature of codes of legal ethics in Columbia. They were inspired by a variety of worries, primarily that non – attorneys may via such setups participate in the unapproved practice of law, that customer confidences may be compromised, which non – attorneys may manage the tasks of legal representatives as well as disrupt the lawyers’ independent expert judgment.
On the other hand, fee-sharing paralegals are recognized in Utah in the sense that this would relate to employee-paralegals as well as not to paralegals dealing with an independent-contractor basis, that might just be compensated on a “per job” basis, completely independent from the attorney’s partnership with, and compensation from, the customer..
The essential reasoning is for the security of the attorney’s specialist self-reliance of judgment. Since the employee-paralegal is presumed not to be in a placement to exert undue impact on the lawyer, fee-sharing is permitted based upon a percentage of gross or take-home pay supplied and also not linked to particular situations. To put it simply, a cost– sharing legal assistant may be compensated a fixed percentage of gross earnings from all cases, yet not a fixed percent based upon the result of a particular instance.