The Paralegal as Watchdog

A recent post dealt with the paralegal’s unique position to assist in preventing elder abuse. As I point out in Working with the Elder Client nursing homes, family, and other caregivers are not the only source of abuse. Guardians are often implicated. Although not directly on point an post today reminds me that at times even lawyers can be involved in the mistreatment and mishandling of client funds amounting to abuse:

A former Winston & Strawn partner has reached an agreement that could pave the way for a guilty plea in connection with his work for a celebrity money manager.

Prosecutors told a Manhattan federal judge on Monday that the former partner, Jonathan Bristol, has reached an agreement in principle to resolve charges he laundered more than $20 million stolen from celebrity clients by convicted money manager Kenneth Starr, according to the New York Post, the New York Law Journal and the Am Law Daily. The money was allegedly laundered through attorney trust accounts.

I am not by any means suggesting that paralegals become a law office Nancy Drew or Hardy Boy. (A lot of my youth was spent with those books.) Indeed, even the term “watchdog” in the title to this post may be too strong. However, it is incumbent upon the professional paralegal to see can be seen and sometimes notice what is not there to be seen, make an appropriate record and when necessary “do the right thing.” Here’s an example from a previous post.

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