A member of the Florida Bar inquired of its Ethics Committee whether it would be ethical to outsource legal work to an Indian LPO or other overseas providers of legal work and services. The Proposed Advisory Opinion 07-02 decides that the same ethics rules apply to hiring and using an LPO in India (or an LPO anywhere else in the world) as apply to hiring and using domesitc lawyers or staff and as apply to hiring and using the work of associate lawyers within a law firm. Those rules are the requirements that a lawyer 1) avoid the unauthorized practice of law by rendering reasonale supervision of the work, particularly with respect to client confidentialtiy; 2)appropriately disclose to the client what is being outsourced; 3) appropriate disclose to the cleint how the outsourced work will be billed; and 4) check for and avoid conflicts that may exist between the lawyer's client and the offshore outsourcing company.
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