Ethical wall or screen or cone of silence
A system developed to shield an attorney or a paralegal from a case that otherwise would create a conflict of interest.
These are formal written screeening processes variously referred to as ethical walls ,conical silence and firewalls.
How to erect an ethical wall that is create an effective wall, the law firm must undetake the following steps :
1. Develop an educational program for employees that includes warning all employees of the firm about the importance of not sharing information. Having firmwide meetings to discuss the importance of confidentiality and why ethical walls must be built.
2. Specifically prohibit those with confidential information from discussing the case or the client with others in the firm.
3. Restrcit access to files. This can be done by "flagging" the files so they are easily identifiableat a distance and by physically removing them from areas where the person with the conflict can have access to them.
4. Write a memorandum to all personnel instructing them not to discuss the conflict matter with the conflict person.
5.Seperate those working on the file from those with the information.
6. Circulate a Policy statement concerning the specific wall, and announce the methods for enforcement, including sanctions.
7.Notify the client. The client's consent may be necessary to avoid disqualification.
Reference or citation:
Page no. 289, 290 Introduction to Paralegal Studies : A Critical Thinking Approach
By By Katherine A. Currier, Thomas E. Eimermann
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