The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
A Miami paralegal has been publicly blamed by Major Ed Hudak of the Coral Gables Police Department for an inaccurate affidavit he signed. He is the former chief of the internal affairs division. An attorney for two subordinates who were the subject of the affidavit called it “false and misleading.” Major Hudak received an administrative written reprimand earlier this month for not following department regulations.
Hudak said Friday there were several revisions to the affidavit, which was prepared by a paralegal, and that he was working on several cases at the same time.
”There were a lot of corrections made,” Hudak said, adding that he had instructed the paralegal to write ”on or about May 17” because he was not sure of the date.
‘She just put `on.’ She did not put ‘or about,’ ” Hudak said. “I did not catch it. It was not an accurate reflection of what I told her.”
“Did I sign an improper document? Yes, absolutely. And it will never happen again. I learned from it. I’m probably one of the bigger proofreaders in the department and I’m in the largest division.”
”I learned if you are doing those affidavits you should do them yourself,” he added. “What I got at minimum was what I deserved. When you are looking at documents like that, you can’t leave any stone unturned.”
See The Miami Herald.
While it is crucial that any paralegal assigned to draft an affidavit follow instructions and carefully proofread the document for factual errors, it is even more important to actually read what you sign, especially under oath.
Do you think Major Hudak should have publicly blamed the paralegal for the erroneous affidavit? Please feel free to comment and answer the “yes” or “no” survey question regarding this issue.