Here's an interesting development regarding confidentiality and risk management: A very good friend of mine, let's call him/her Leslie (a unisex name), was asked to speak at the Paralegal Technology Institute at Legal Tech in Los Angeles. Now, Leslie is a very, very experienced, high level litigation paralegal who has written many, many articles, books; taught at several paralegal schools; and has a very stable work background. Frankly, Leslie is an ultimate authority of paralegal work.
Leslie was not granted permission to speak at the conference. The firm told Leslie that they did not want be put in a position of advocating any particular methodology in case management that could be held against the firm at a later time, if the methodology was not followed. Additionally, the ALS (Litigation Support) department is also denied the same privilege. Apparently, the firm has been burned by this before.
When I asked if attorneys were denied permission to speak on the very same topic, the answer was no. This brings up a couple of questions:
1) Does the firm not trust a very senior level paralegal with over 20+ years of experience at major firms, high profile cases and adjunct professor status? Does the firm not trust members of the Lit. Support department to know what not to talk about or,
2) Is it better just to ban anyone who has anything to do with the actual designing of case methodology or,
3) Is it that attorneys just don't know enough about how the job is actually done to let any cats out of the bag?
Other questions are: If this is a trend, how can paralegals and litigation support professionals gain the visibility of the legal community to move upward if they cannot get the exposure that inevitably assists their career? And, are continuing legal education seminars going to suffer from lack of good teachers as a result of risk management?
Has anyone else seen this risk management solution taking place? If so, we'd like to know what the thinking is and whether this is an up and coming trend.