Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Outsourcing to Temporary Attorneys....Is it Ethical? (OC Lawyer, December 2011 Issue)

The Orange County Lawyer published an article in their December 2011 issue titled Outsourcing to Temporary Attorneys, authored by Montage Legal Group founders, Erin Giglia and Laurie Rowen.   The article, appearing in their popular "Ethically Speaking" section, discusses the recent malpractice suit involving contract attorneys, J-M Manufacturing v. McDermott Will & Emery, and highlights some of the ethical issues that firms need to be aware of when outsourcing to contract attorneys or freelance attorneys. The article discusses many of the relevant California and ABA rules regarding outsourcing to temporary attorneys, such as the duty of competence. 

The article also highlights that the ethical rules clearly establish that the hiring attorney is ultimately responsible for all work product that leaves the firm, including temporary attorney work, as set forth in the California State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) Formal Opinion 1992-126. Further under California Rule of Professional Conduct 3-110(A), all attorneys must perform legal services with competence, defined as the "diligence, learning, and skill. and mental, emotional, and physical ability reasonably necessary for the performance of such service." Rule 3-110(A) applies equally to all California attorneys, contract or otherwise.  Because the hiring attorney is ultimately responsible for the temporary attorney's work, the hiring firm must be aware of their contract attorneys' education, background and experience. The ABA has also commented on the importance of using only skilled contract attorneys in Formal Ethics Opinion 08-451, "There is nothing unethical about outsourcing legal...services, provided the outsourcing lawyer renders legal services to the client with the 'legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation,' as required by Model Rule 1.1."

Temporary attorneys can be an excellent resource to firms of all sizes, and can solve difficult temporary or long-term staffing needs. But firms should take care to hire only temporary attorneys with appropriate levels of training and experience to perform tasks competently, and firms must always supervise contract attorney work.   

To read the full article, see the December 2011 on-line issue of the Orange County Lawyer.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Montage Attorney Maureen Aplin's Legal Thriller "The Five" is Being Made into a Movie

We are so excited to announce that The Five -- the sixth legal thriller written by Montage freelance attorney and well-known author, Maureen Aplin --  is being made into a movie.  Check back here for information on when the movie will be released, and watch the trailer/teaser for The Five below.  But be careful....it's scary!

About The Five

The sixth book in the author's Mary MacIntosh murder mystery series centers around a serial killer (Chandler Craig) who commenced his murderous rampage before the ripe of age 12, but due to a loophole in the law, is released from juvenile detention at age 21. "Mac" hosts a reunion for her four college roommates at her family cabin in the Colorado Rockies. Within months of his release from jail, Chandler shows up at the cabin and captures each of the five with means of force, violence and torture, telling them that “one of their husbands hired him to kill one of them, and it was up to each to convince him that she was not it.” Each friend struggles with the notion that her husband wants her dead, soul searching the past, present and future of the bonds of marriage and friendship. Chandler’s mayhem and means of torture stem from his abusive and tumultuous childhood and with each act of violence committed against THE FIVE, he reveals the depths of his hatred and sorrow. Mac's search for the truth behind Chandler’s motive to kill is entangled with the revelation of infidelity, betrayal, and conspiracy stemming from Chandler’s true birth father and a husband’s fall from professional sports grace – into a league of crime involving performance enhancement drugs that, if discovered, will certainly derail dozens of high-profile athlete’s careers.




Wednesday, November 16, 2011

San Diego Business Journal Honors the 2011 "Women Who Mean Business"

Kate Mayer Mangan, an affiliated attorney with Montage Legal Group and owner of Mayer Mangan, A Professional Corporation, is a finalist for the San Diego Business Journal's 2011 "Women Who Mean Business Awards." The SDBJ "Women Who Mean Business Awards" is a program designed to recognize dynamic women business leaders and role models selected for their achievements and contributions to the San Diego companies and the community. 

To read the full list of finalists, see page 41 of the San Diego Business Journal.

Kate will be recognized on November 17, 2011 along with some of San Diego's most successful business women, including several successful females at San Diego law firms who have helped pave the way for all women in law:
  • Karen Hernandez of Cooley, LLP
  • Patricia Groff of Butz, Dunn & DeSantis
  • Karolina Ericsson of Ericsson Law Group 
  • Linda Klinger of Klinger Law Center
  • Lisa Martens of Fish & Richardson
  • Arlene Prater of Best, Best & Krieger, LLP
  • Cynthia Morgan of Higgs, Fletcher & Mack, LLP, and
  • Nancy Spector  
Congratulations ladies!

To sign up to attend this excellent event, visit the SDBJ website: http://www.sdbj.com/bizevents/.

Kate Mayer Mangan
Kate Mangan graduated summa cum laude from Pomona College, and was in the top 1% of her class at Georgetown University Law Center. At Georgetown, Kate was an executive editor of, and was published in, Georgetown Law Journal. After law school, Kate clerked for the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from 2004-2005, and was a trial attorney for the United States Department of Justice in the Environmental Enforcement Section from 2005-2006. Kate previously practiced appellate law at Latham & Watkins San Diego office. Kate also founded the Appellate Legal Clinic at the University of San Diego School of Law.  Kate started her own appellate practice and joined Montage Legal Group as a freelance attorney in 2011. 


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why Are Supermom Lawyers in Canada Leaving Law Firms?

It appears that Canada has the same problem as the United States.  An article titled “Why Supermom is leaving the firm,” by Jeff Gray of the Law Reporter, states that many female lawyers in Canada have been leaving big law firms to seek jobs with mid-size firms, in-house legal departments or government agencies.  These women seek “less punishing hours and more flexible workplaces.”  Others have been leaving the practice of law all together.

According to Law Society of Upper Canada statistics, women usually leave after spending about five to seven years as a lawyer, before they make partner.  To address the problem that Canada has been struggling with for years, the Law Society of Upper Canada created the Justicia Project, which signed up 56 Ontario firms and aimed to develop model policies on flexible working hours, leaves and mentorships.  The article discusses the success of the project, but admits that it is difficult to quantify how much good the project has done.    

 “Until there are changes, many female lawyers will likely seek alternative career paths beyond Bay Street. But new business models, and new technology, may be making that easier. With the Internet, legal work can now be done far from a steel-and-glass office tower.”