Video study

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Video Case Study #2 Questions:

Watch this video all the way through.  This scene takes place at a bank.  Barbara is an investment advisor.  She gives Sarah “information” about where to invest money where the income will be tax-free.  Answer the following:

  • Barbara specifically tells Sarah that there are many different choices.  Is that statement legal advice?
  • Then Barbara is clear that the ultimate decision is Sarah’s (i.e., Barbara is not making any choices for her).  If Barbara’s tax advice is UPL, does the fact that Barbara isn’t making choices for Sarah make it not UPL?
  • Is information the same as advice?
  • Understanding this video depends on understanding the “incidental to” rule.  What is the law in Virginia?

Video Case Study #3 Questions:

Watch the first minute of this video.  Paralegal Michael is trying to be sympathetic listening to Sarah, who is concerned about her children.  She asks the point-blank question: “What can I do?  Answer the following:

  • Is Michael’s response legal advice or simply information?
  • If his response is legal advice, does he fix his error by referring to the lawyer for advice?
  • Is there something else he could have said, just in case his earlier statement could have been interpreted as legal advice?

In the next part of the video, Michael asks the client for information.

  • Is this UPL?
  • How about when he asks her for documents and copies of email?  Is asking the client for these things (or any evidence) UPL?
  • Sarah asks the next point-blank question: “What will the lawyer tell me?” What do you think of Michael’s response?  Is it UPL?

Video Case Study #4 Questions:

Watch the first segment of this video up to the place where the narrator is asking questions and answer those questions.  Poor Michael is trying to get his supervising lawyer’s attention, but she’s too busy.  Answer the following:

  • She give him a signature stamp to use on answers to interrogatories. What do you think of that?  Should lawyers use signature stamps?
  • What about when she tells Michael to just “make sure they’re right and send them out?” What rule has she violated?
  • Before going on, can you think of some approaches Michael can take to get the supervision he needs?

Now watch the rest of the video and compare your suggestions to Michael’s course of action.  Answer the following:

  • How do you think Michael did with the signature stamp issue?
  • What would you have said?

Video Case Study #5 Questions:

Watch the first segment of this video and then answer the following:

  • It sounds like Alicia has thoroughly investigated the expert witness.  Is there anything wrong with that?
  • Is factual investigation something that is in a paralegal’s job description?
  • When Saunders tells her to compile a list of questions for his review and then she can “handle” the video deposition, did that concern you in any way?

Watch the video deposition and then come back and answer the following:

  • The other side’s lawyer is in the room.  Does that make Alicia’s deposition UPL?
  • What did you think of Alicia’s “introduction” of herself to the expert on the video deposition?

Video Case Study #6 Questions:

Watch this video all the way through and then answer the following:

  • Attorney Saunders introduced himself to the new client (“Hi, I’m Roy Saunders.”), but he did not introduce Alicia.  Did he violate the law by not identifying himself as a lawyer?
  • Did he violate the law by not identifying Alicia as a nonlawyer?
  • When Saunders leaves the room, he puts Alicia in charge of the client interview, but she didn’t identify herself either.  Has she violated some law?
  • Alicia asks the client a series of questions from an interview form.  Is she allowed to do that?
  • At the end of this video clip, the client asks the point-blanks questions:  “Do I have a case?” Does Alicia violate the UPL law of Virginia with her answer?
  • Can you think of some answers she could have given the client that would have satisfied him, but would not be UPL?

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