The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Today the Supreme Court of Georgia issued a decision to accept voluntary discipline on the part of attorney Gregory E. Stuhler, who admitted to failing to supervise a paralegal and not meeting with clients before accepting their cases. He admits that his paralegal met three different clients at a chiropractor’s office (at the chiropractor’s request) and obtained fee agreements from them – without Mr. Stuhler meeting or speaking with them first.
In addition to a public reprimand, Mr. Stuhler must attend the Georgia State Bar’s Ethics School, and undergo quarterly assessments of his intake and case management procedures by the State Bar’s Law Practice Management Program, for a one-year period.
Non-lawyers cannot sign up clients that their supervising attorneys have not already met or spoken with, even if the client is conveniently waiting in the chiropractor’s office trying to kill two birds with one stone, i.e. hiring an attorney and getting his back adjusted. (This is one of those ambulance-chasing tales that makes the public sneer at personal injury attorneys, but some blame should also be directed toward those chiropractors who won’t start treatment unless the client insures payment, either by group health insurance or hiring an attorney to protect a medical provider lien against a recovery from medpay or liability insurance.)