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California Legal Ethics Webinar on Contract Attorneys Today
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Erin GigliaGrowing Your Practice: The Ethics of Using a Contract Attorney 
January 27, 2015, 1 pm PST ♦ 1 Hour California MCLE Approved
Co-Sponsored by CA State Bar Labor and Employment Section

Presented by Erin Giglia

As the demand for workplace investigators continues to grow, many solo attorney-investigators are finding themselves turning down requests for work due to an already heavy workload. While some are choosing to expand their firm by hiring additional investigators, many are turning to contract attorneys to avoid the economic risk of hiring an employee, while continuing to grow their practice. However, the potential ethical pitfalls in hiring a contract attorney are many, and the application of traditionally straightforward ethical tenets can be difficult.

In this webinar, Erin Giglia, co-founder of Montage Legal Group, a company that provides temporary legal services, will help navigate these issues by addressing the following questions:

  • Unauthorized Practice Of LawDoes the use of freelance attorneys who are not members of the States Bar violate ethical rules prohibiting aiding and abetting in the unauthorized practice of law?
  • CompetenceDoes an attorney violate ethical rules if he or she uses an inexperienced contract attorney?
  • DisclosureIs an attorney required to disclose to its clients that it is using a contract attorney?
  • Profits—Can an attorney make a profit off of its use of a contract attorney?
  • Confidentiality—Can an attorney disclose its client’s confidential information to a contract attorney?
  • Malpractice Insurance—Do freelance attorneys need to carry their own malpractice insurance?
  • Non-Attorney Clients—What information should the attorney's clients know about the contract attorney?

The following legal authorities will be discussed:

California Rules of Professional Responsibility

California Business & Professions Code

Ethics Opinions
COPRAC 1992-126
COPRAC  1993- 133
COPRAC 1994-138
COPRAC 2004- 165
ABA Formal Opinion 88-356
ABA Formal Opinion 08-451
ABA Formal Ethics Opinion 2000-420 
SDCBA Opinion 2007-1
LACBA Opinion 518

American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct

ABA Model Rule 1.1
ABA Model Rule 1.5

Erin Clary Giglia is an owner and founder of Montage Legal Group. She graduated cum laude from Wellesley College in 1998 in Political Science. In 2001 she graduated cum laude from University of San Diego School of Law, where she was a member of the San Diego Law Review. Ms. Giglia practiced complex commercial litigation at Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison for one year, then joined Snell & Wilmer, LLP in Costa Mesa, where she defended entertainment venues and consumer products manufacturers in product liability, premises liability, environmental law, and commercial litigation. In 2009 Ms. Giglia left Snell & Wilmer and co-founded Montage Legal Group, a network of freelance attorneys who opted out of the traditional law firm model in favor of career flexibility. Through her work with Montage Legal Group, Ms. Giglia was also Of Counsel at Hewitt Wolensky LLP (now part of Arent Fox) from 2010-2014. Ms. Giglia is a frequent speaker on legal outsourcing, work-life balance, women in law, networking for attorneys, legal ethics, and contract attorneys. In addition to her legal work, she currently serves on the Board of Directors as Legal Counsel for the National Association of Women Business Owners, Orange County Chapter. She also serves on the University of San Diego School of Law Alumni Board of Directors.