A plaintiff in a case brought

The factors that must be considered include the cost of the trial, the length of the trial, probability of winning the case and expected values of options under given probabilities and even the nature of the case. The offer of $175,000 is more than 2/3 of the amount of damages claimed. The amount to be claimed can go either up or down depending on how the court would really assess the value of damages and the longer the trial, the higher would be the cost of it. Lawyers get paid by the hours of service they spend on the case and there is a cost of money for waiting.

But since I know that I have a good chance of winning the cases, the expected value of the claim should now be at least fifty (50%) of the total claim, which is which is equivalent of 50% probability. That amount is roughly at least$125,000 three years from now without having to exert more efforts to go to trial. On the basis of that 50% probability of winning the amount of $175,000 must be a high amount to start with because that is already present value as compared to future value of $ 125,000 as estimated above.

Moreover case facts provide that the three year period is the time within which the court could hear the case, which could mean that there are possibilities of dilatory tactics on the other party’s side and the three year period could even be extended beyond three to reach the finality of decision until there is execution of judgment. The trial process could be a long one considering that this case is a reckless imprudence case where the accused could use many defenses like point to my possible contributory negligence and disproving the value claimed as to the extent of injuries and property damage.

The uncertainty is great to for trial hence it is best to go for the “bottom line. ” Having therefore considered all the factors discussed, I would decide to accept offer of settlement for $175,000 which has a greater value than a $300, 000 that would be possibly received three years from now less other cost as analyzed. 2. Theo Epstein`s supervising attorney, Bill Belicheck, works occasionally as a mediator for family law cases in the local courts. Bill has mediated a divorce case today involving the property settlement of George Steinbrenner, who happens also to be a defendant in another lawsuit in which Bill represents the plaintiff.

As a result of his mediation today, Bill has learned some confidential financial information about George. He now has come to Theo, his paralegal, and asked him to use this information to George`s disadvantage in the lawsuit. How should Theo handle this situation? Answer: Theo as paralegal should remind Bill that what the latter is about to take is in violation of a lawyer’s duty and for which Bill should know as lawyer that that cannot make use of the confidential information that the later learned from his capacity as mediator about a party in case which he now handles.

Bill is charged to have knowledge of the fact about confidential information involving property settlement of George Steinbrenner and he cannot use such fact to George`s disadvantage in the lawsuit simply because it is a violation of lawyer’s oath or elementary rules of practice. Legal assistants are also bound to protect the confidences of client under the NAIA Code of Ethics, Canon 7. The fact that Theo is being instructed to use this information to George`s disadvantage in the lawsuit makes matters worse because the lawyer is suppose to know the law more than a paralegal who is bound to respect the professional ethics of lawyers.

To be a mediator in family cases involves a quasi-judicial function which must be exercised with objectivity and information learned from people there could not be used for the disadvantage or even advantage of the parties that were part of the proceedings. It is not an issue that the information could not be used because the case facts declare that it is in fact a confidential one. What could allow Bill to use the information is the consent of George Steinbrenner which under this case could not be presumed to be given on the basis of common sense since it would be against George’s interest as per instruction of bill.

3. How do lawyers and legal assistants keep track of their time? What is the difference between billable and non-billable hours? What is a client trust account? Lawyers and legal assistants keep track of their time by having a schedule that would make use of their time wisely. Lawyers have their deadlines to complete their tasks. These tasks include the handling of case from acceptance to complete disposition of a case. From the acceptance lawyers gather facts of the case, they prepare by outlining the options available, crafting the legal strategies that are available and implementing a wisely chosen one.

For each process the lawyer is bound to do the best of his or her skills to fulfill his or her duty to the courts first and foremost and to serve the interest of client with professionalism. Having a plotted schedule in allocating time to the scheduled activities could really help the lawyer and his assistants in practice. The difference between billable and nonbillable hours is that the first are hours spent or used by paralegals or legal assistant which directly applied to client’s matters, while the second also hours used but are not applied to clients’ matters.

It is estimated that a typical paralegal spends about seventy five percent (75%) to eight five percent (85%) of day on billable projects and there standard as to the minimum requirements to be spent. This is also the reason why non-billable hours are classified into creditable and non-creditable hours. A client trust account is “an account maintained at a bank, savings and loan, or credit union for the purpose of holding client funds. ” The account is governed by the Rule 1. 15 a of Rules of Professional Conduct. 4.

Michelle Pfeiffer works as a legal assistant for the legal department of a large manufacturing corporation. In the process of interviewing a middle-management accountant with the company about an employee discrimination lawsuit, Michelle discovers that a few of the top executives cheat on their income tax returns by not declaring a portion of their bonuses. Michelle becomes disenchanted with her job with the corporation for these and other reasons and finds a new job with a law firm. Her supervising attorney in the new law firm is involved in a case against her former employer.

The attorney tells Michelle that the only way to deal with these big corporations is to get whatever dirt you can on them and then threaten to go to the press. He wants to know if she can give him any such information. Can she tell him the `dirt` about the executives who cheat in their income taxes? Why or Why not? What ethical rules are involved in her decision? Answer: Michelle Pfeiffer cannot tell the attorney the `dirt` about the executives who cheat in their (manufacturing corporation) income taxes because the act is simply unethical.

She would be violating the rules on confidentiality of information which the legal assistant is bound to comply with. The ethical rules that are involved in her decision is about the obligation of confidentiality applies to legal assistants. Several rules govern this requirement to protect the confidences of the client. Lawyers have responsibilities to ensure that legal assistants keep client confidences under Guideline 6 of the ABA Model Guidelines for the Utilization of Legal Assistant Services.

There is also a requirement for legal assistants to protect the client’s secrets under the NAIA Code of Ethics, Canon 7. There is also a specific provision under Rule 1. 5 of the NFPA Model Disciplinary Rules and Ethical Considerations for paralegal to preserve all confidential information that may be provided by the client or acquired from and the sources of this information could be before, during, and after the course of the professional relationship.

Michelle disenchantment with her job with the corporation and for which officers she is aware of any tax cheat is neither justifiable reason nor a ground to violate the rule on confidentiality of information. Neither is she bound to obey her supervising attorney in the new law firm which now involved her former employer. It must be made clear the rules on preserving the confidence include sources before, during, and after the course of the professional relationship. Works Cited: Baish, A.

, Six Factors to Consider for a Successful Litigation Strategy, 2005, {www document} URL http://www. gklaw. com/publication. cfm? publication_id=422, Accessed October 25,2007 Kauffman, K. , Legal Ethics , Thomson Delmar Learning, 2004 Nollkamper, Fundamentals of Law Office Management: Systems, Procedures, and Ethics, Thomson Delmar Learning, United States, 2003 Washington State Bar Association, Frequently Asked Questions About Client Trust Account Declarations, 2007 {www document} URL http://www. wsba. org/lawyers/licensing/faq-trust. htm , Accessed October 25, 2007