REPLY to this post before Monday’s class!

Esteemed Students!

In prep for our discussion of ethics and professional responsibility in Intro class on Monday Nov. 9, please read Sussman v. Grado, a New York trial court decision about a paralegal who engaged in unauthorized practice of law!!  (Oh no!)  By 10am Monday, please post a short “reply” to THIS POST stating your thoughtful response or reaction to the case, and/or one or more questions you have about it.


Prof. C.


24 thoughts on “REPLY to this post before Monday’s class!

  1. My reaction to the Sussman v. Grado case is that the paralegal was irresponsible. The client has the right to sue the paralegal because paralegals are not allowed to do tasks such as set legal fees, give legal advice to clients, sign her/his own name to documents filed with the court, and sign her/his own name to any document without indicating the she/he is a paralegal.

  2. My thoughtful response after reading the Sussman vs Grado is that a paralegal who is unauthorized practice of law is considered guilty because he is not been licensed or admitted to practice law. As we know that paralegal can’t give any kind of legal advice without the guidance of a Licensed Attorney. The paralegal also disrupted the market law. The client sued the paralegal to recover his money of judgment.

  3. As per my understanding, the case of Sussman vs Grado talks about that how a client sued paralegal because of the money. And the client claimed that he didn’t get the money which is not true in fact defendant sent him but he refused to take it. So as the case held in court and the paralegal found guilty because he is not an Attorney and can not ready a case without an Attorney’s permission. he has to work under Attorney’s supervision which he didn’t and found guilty. Because he gave the clients legal advice which he can not without any lawyer.

  4. “The American Bar Association has defined an independent paralegal as “a person who is not supervised by a lawyer, provides services to clients with regard to a process in which the law is involved, is not functioning at the time as a paralegal or a document preparer, and for whose work no lawyer is accountable,”

    Am I the only one who finds this counterintuitive to the process of having a paralegal in the first place? What’s the point of an independent paralegal being allowed if there’s certain restrictions as what they can and cannot do? Secondly, who randomly decides to work as an independent paralegal? Thirdly, who **HIRES** a independent paralegal instead of one that works at a firm knowing that they’d be able to do more under the supervision of an attorney? I’m trying to understand it, but simply cannot.

  5. From my understanding the original paralegal Client is now suing the paralegal in order too recover the payments made to the paralegal? The paralegal also acted without the supervision of the attorney. They also created legal documents without the proper knowledge of what was required for them. This could result in misleading the client and putting the clients case in danger

  6. When reading the case of Herbert Sussman V. Marcia Grado It seems as if, the plaintiff(Sussman) hired an Independent Paralegal. The defendant (Grado) is an independent paralegal who played the role of a lawyer. Meaning that they were giving legal advice, and filling out forms In which paralegals are not supposed to fill out or even do. As a result of that the plaintiff lost the case in which the paralegal was supposed to give assistance to help them win. In the end the Plaintiff lost his personal case, and money causing them to sue the defendant. In my opinion of the case I feel as if both parties was wrong. The defendant shouldn’t have given out the legal advice being that it was not their job to, and the plaintiff should have taken the check.

  7. i agree with asarch’s opinion in that there is too few lawyers for the overwhelming amount of legal work needing to be done. Paralegals can only fill those gaps so much with their limited certifiability compared to an attorney. Perhaps there should be a way or institution made for paralegals to obtain additional legal certification to practice law without having to go to law school. (either because its too expensive or other reasons). If there were such an institution, it would allow paralegals to practice law without fear of violating the “paralegals can not practice law” stipulation. Beyond my own thoughts, it is clear that Grado was acting as a lawyer and was punished for her actions.

  8. To my understanding of the reading, an independent paralegal was being sued because she was doing attorney work , which is illegal . Paralegals normally work under attorney supervision which in may cases help one to know when you are drawing a line regarding your legal duties. Susan tried to ‘create a legal document that she had no knowledge or training in’ ,which caused the client damages .I feel like if a person is working independently it is no reason why they should be answering anything with a client when they are only supposed to be working with attorneys who reach out.

  9. Based on the reading Herbert Sussman V. Marcia Grado the whole concept of a paralegal is very difficult to follow because they aren’t allow to “practice law” since they aren’t licensed to do so. However at the same time are given privileges to do so. In this case it wasn’t like that the paralegal did stuff that should have known couldn’t do without an attorney. The funny thing is that they have been doing this for 13 years and up until now no one has said anything just this one person. Which gets me to think could they have also done much more things that mislead their clients and an violation of their job. I also don’t understand how a independent paralegal works if there are restrictions then what’s the point of them wouldn’t it be better not to have them so they won’t be getting into problems and clients being mislead. Well in my opinion.

  10. From what I read, I believe that a paralegal took on a case by herself without consulting an attorney. She provide legal aid, which she wasn’t supposed to do, and charged the client.

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