Drug Lord’s Paralegal: “I have to be professional.”

Denverpost.com reports on Lourdes Mederos, a paralegal working with incarcerated drug cartel kingpins in ADX Florence prison:

Lulu, 28, is bilingual, street smart and gorgeous. She moved to Florence from her native Miami last year for proximity to the incarcerated cartel leaders able to pay for her attention…

ADX Florence houses convicts the feds have deemed in need of the tightest control. It isolates them in solitary confinement. Visits are allowed only with family members — most of whom live nowhere near Colorado — or people designated as part of their legal teams.

Upon Lulu’s arrival in Florence, word spread among Latino drug lords in the prison that her one-woman LM Paralegal Inc. was available for hire

Each week, usually twice for Huerta and Matta Lopez, the inmates’ out-of-state lawyers pay Lulu $125 an hour to visit their clients, generally for most of the workday. She delivers legal documents and conveys messages about the many lawsuits each has filed against the federal Bureau of Prisons. Their complaints range from the tightness of their shackles to guards’ inability to speak Spanish to long waiting lists for vision care or hernia surgery. The cases are distractions from lives led in mind-numbing isolation.

Lulu offers company and conversation, the ultimate luxury in a prison where, she says, “you could die and nobody would know.”

Lulu makes a point of visiting on holidays. She’s careful never to be late. And she abides by ADX’s rules prohibiting her from showing cleavage or wearing skirts that fall above the knee. After all, she says, “I have to be professional.”

“These aren’t my boyfriends. I can’t be flirting or anything like that. They videotape our visits. There are a lot of eyes on me when I’m at my job,” she says.

Still, she’s confident her clients like the way she works. If they didn’t, “they would have cut me off a long time ago.” [Emphasis added.]

“They’re bad boys and I love working with bad boys,” she adds. “My line of work, it’s recession-proof. They ain’t going anywhere. I’ve got my own place. I’m my own boss. I’m able to help my family out. I’m living, for me, the American dream.”

Despite the headline, it should be noted that Ms. Mederos is not the drug lords’ paralegal. She is hired by, and works for, out-of-state attorneys. I assume that those attorneys have obtained permission to practice in her state. Otherwise a number of issues arise regarding attorney supervision, e.g., does it count if the attorney superivising the paralegal is not licensed in the state where the paralegal is performing services, and does sending a paralegal to visit a client and deliver legal documents constitute practicing law in a state where the attorney is not licensed?

In any case, it is good to see the Ms. Mederos remains professional in performing her job.

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