You must supervise your staff

As a follow up to our last posting, see item #2 therein, about the need to supervise both your staff and all attorneys in your firm.  This is a requirement that is being studied with greater intensity by the Bar throughout the country.

In furtherance of this issue, you may want to see Carolyn Elefant’s commentary about a contract attorney who is being prosecuted by the Illinois Bar for overcharging.

My question takes a slightly different perspective:  Why wasn’t the large law firm charged with breach of rules of professional conduct that require adequate supervision?  Why only the contract attorney who overbilled?  If the contract lawyer overbilled, the “supervising” attorney in the larger law firm is equally responsible as though the contract lawyer were in the same law firm, on the same payroll. After all, it is this latter principle that allows the larger law firm to bill at their normal hourly rate rather than at its cost for engaging the contract lawyer.


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