Conclusion: If you meet all applicable procedural and ethical requirements, you will work with lead counsel to maximize your teamwork to achieve your client`s goals at a lower cost. Set a clear delineation of responsibilities with Lead Counsel. For example, decide who in charge of which research, who designs the complaint, responds to court opinions and injunctions, prepares briefs, communicates with the client and appears in court (subject to local rules). Decide if you are copied in all emails and letters between Lead Counsel and the client. Your client doesn`t want to be charged twice for the same job and you don`t want to spend time on layoffs. How do you fulfill your ethical duties without duplicating all the efforts of the Senior Advisor? Professional conduct models do not distinguish between Lead and Local Counsel, so you are bound by the same ethical rules, even if you contractually limit the scope of your representation. For example, in addition to chief counsel, you must take charge of competent representation, act diligently and expeditingly in representing the client, reasonably consult the client on how to achieve the client`s objectives, and keep the client properly informed of the status of the matter. Models 1.1, 1.3 and 1.4. In addition, you have obligations under Rule 11 of the Federal Code of Civil Procedures and corresponding national court regulations. If you take the opportunity offered by your friend, you can make some assumptions – you might even consider these assumptions as „common“ in your bailiwick. You can. B for example assume that your business will only be a „mail-drop,“ so you have no duty to know or advise local hardware law. You may also consider that your duty to communicate is limited to exchanges with the „national advisor.“ Since you may never have contact with the company itself, you can even call National Counsel „customers“ in your billing system.
The opinion stresses that counsel cannot contractually limit liability or contractually limit its ethical obligations, when limited representation is permitted and may have the practical effect of reducing liability by limiting the tasks of local assistance. In particular, the opinion considers that a lawyer retained as a local lawyer may limit the level of representation as long as the agreement with Rule 1.2 (c) of New York complies with New York`s rules of professional conduct. Rule 1.2 (c) allows for a narrow representation of the scope „where the restriction is appropriate in the current circumstances, if the client gives informed consent and if necessary, notification is given to the court and/or the opposing counsel.“ If you have been asked to serve as a local advisor for Lead Counsel who is not admitted to your jurisdiction, here is what you need to know to be effective while avoiding mistakes. The most important thing is that even if you`re not a lead counsel, you`re more than just a virtual messenger. You must check the rules of conduct in force in your jurisdiction at the starting point of the analysis of the applicable procedures and your responsibilities as local advisors. It is significant that the notice does not cover all potential issues affecting the responsibilities and commitments of local councillors, according to the ABA`s Litigation Section.