Another Attorney in Need of a Good Paralegal

ABAJournal.com reports on an attorney barred from practicing in the Federal Second Circuit do to missing deadlines and abysmal briefing:

A New York immigration lawyer has been barred from appearing again before the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals due to missed deadlines that resulted in the dismissal of at least 12 cases and and substandard briefs.

“We want to make it clear that the deficiencies of [Karen] Jaffe’s conduct, in the aggregate, bespeak of something far more serious than a lack of competence or ability. They exhibit an indifference to the rights and legal well-being of her clients, and to her professional obligations, including the obligation of candor, to this court,” states a per curiam written opinion of the circuit’s 10 active judges. It imposes the practice ban by striking her from the circuit’s roster of authorized attorneys, reports the New York Law Journal in an article that is reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

One reviewing panel described Jaffe’s briefing skills as “abysmal,” the legal publication notes.

Certainly there are attorneys who cannot be saved from themselves by anyone. I’m not in a position to judge this attorney, but based on the statements of this court, I don’t think this is one. Meeting deadlines and seeing that legal documents are “as they should be” is what professional paralegals do. Solo practicioners often balk at the cost of a paralegal, but in cases like this the costs of not having a member of the legal team who can balance out the attorney’s weaknesses with complementing strengths are far higher than the cost of having such a member. In addition to preventing this type of problem a paralegal would likely make it possible for this attorney to serve more clients better, thus providing the income necessary to cover the costs of the paralegal.

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