relationship advice
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I love my friends, don’t get me wrong and my best friend, well there is nothing I wouldn’t do for her.  Ok, maybe there are a couple things I wouldn’t do, like give legal advice or put out a hit, but other than that, I can’t think of too much I wouldn’t do when she asks for my help.  No matter how many times I tell my friends I can’t give legal advice, they will call with a question asking “what would you do!”

Take last week, my friend called telling me about a co-worker she has whose new boyfriend was having problems with his old girlfriend. Seems she was following him around town and was even going to his teenage daughter’s workplace causing scenes.  One in particular involved screaming at him when he walked in and accusing him of “giving her a disease!”  So, my friend wanted to know what her co-worker’s boyfriend could do about it.  Sighhhh.  My response was, “I can’t give legal advice.”  As much as I wanted to say something and common sense tells you what a person might be able to do to stop this woman from doing what she is doing, I couldn’t give legal advice.

So, what to do, what to do, ughh.   Don’t you hate when this happens?  You want to just tell them, don’t you?  But you know you can’t and this is where it gets many paralegals in trouble.  I have heard many new paralegals and even seasoned paralegals tell their friends or even clients what they should do, thinking they are only giving them common sense advice in a given situation.  Wrong!  When you are a paralegal, giving advice, even common sense advice, is giving legal advice and it is not allowed at any time, unless your supervising attorney has authorized you to pass on their advice to the client and you must tell them the advice is coming from the attorney, not you.

What I did was tell my friend who the “new boyfriend” could call for advice, like an attorney or the police and ask their advice.   So, I wasn’t giving legal advice, just pointing them in the direction of where to get the legal advice needed. After all, this is who I would contact if I wasn’t a paralegal.   My friend later called me to tell me when the co-worker’s “new boyfriend” contacted the police they immediately issued an EPO (Emergency Protective Order) which immediately stopped the problem, hopefully it will work for the 3 days the EPO is in effect.  We will see what happens when the 3 days are up, but I will not, I repeat, will not, give any legal advice when the EPO runs its course and my friend calls telling me the next saga to this story.  I am sure there will be more to this story, there always is.

So, all of you veteran paralegals, how do you handle this situation when friends or family ask for your “advice.”  I would love to hear and share with our newer paralegals as this is one of the problems we paralegals continually run into on an almost daily basis.

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No, I Can't Give Legal Advice!, 8.2 out of 10 based on 5 ratings
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18 Responses
  1. […] See the original post: Paralegal Blaw Blaw Blaw » Blog Archive » No, I Can't Give Legal … […]

  2. […] posted here: Paralegal Blaw Blaw Blaw » Blog Archive » No, I Can't Give Legal … Tagged with: [ and-even, are-only, common, even-clients, friends, friends-or-even, have-heard, […]

  3. […] Paralegal Blaw Blaw Blaw » Blog Archive » No, I Can’t Give Legal Advice! […]

  4. Hey there I just wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your blog. You have good views, Keep up the good informative info 🙂 Just a quick question though. Are you really making enough money from blogging?

    Look, I am blogger myself and I know how hard it is to make a living from blogging. The whole thing changed once my friend introduced me to George Brown’s No 1 Traffic Ultimatum. I now can support my whole family from blogging alone. Just check it out http://bit.ly/No1-Traffic-Ultimatum

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  5. Lyrics says:

    Great Story, hey I came across this post while googling for rock lyrics. Thanks for sharing I’ll tell my friends about this too.

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  6. I really can’t understand some points of this article, but I assume I only need to learn a bit more regarding this, because it certainly seems interesting and kind of though-proviking! By the way, how did you first get started with this?

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    • Lori Paul says:

      Hi there. What did you need more clarification on? I would be happy to explain it in more detail. I began as a Paralegal about 11 years ago and started blogging about 2 years ago, first to let Family Law clients know what is new and exciting in the world of Family Law and then to my fellow Paralegals.

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  7. […] Paralegal Blaw Blaw Blaw » Blog Archive » N&#959, I C&#1072&#1495't Give Legal … […]

  8. Random question: I was told to start a blog so that my clients or potential clients could connect with me, I am a photographer. Do you find that happening with your readers?

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    • Lori Paul says:

      Yes, I do Stasia. It is a great way to pass on information to your existing clients and for you as a photographer, could possibly bring in clients. Good luck to you!

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  9. This is good stuff. I am always looking for such great content to forward to my readers.

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  10. Great blog layout, just found it in yahoo.

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  11. So good to read such a interesting blog that does not resort to lame antics to get the topic fulfilled. Thank you for an enjoyable read.

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  12. Came across your blog when I was searching yahoo I have found the bit of info about
    child custody attorneys that I was looking for

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  13. David says:

    I am not a paralegal nor a lawyer, however you can give legal advice if you know what you are talking about. I have had this question asked many time. You are in America. Freedom of Speech. I have the right to give legal advice, medical advice, relationship advice and still help them get their problem resolved because there is no crime in it. That is simple. When you have an issue like that, simply giving advice doesn’t link you to that.

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    • Lori Paul says:

      I disagree with you sir. Freedom of speech is the freedom to speak without censorship and/or limitation. The synonymous term freedom of expression is sometimes used to indicate not only freedom of verbal speech but any act of seeking, receiving and imparting information or ideas, regardless of the medium used. In practice, the right to freedom of speech is not absolute in any country and the right is commonly subject to limitations. Giving legal advice without a license is in my opinion, one of those limitations and is practicing law without a license and could very well get you into trouble. As a Paralegal, I cannot give legal advice, nor would I want to. I leave that to the attorneys who have the license to do so.

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  14. Vigvehime says:

    Cool web. Maybe you should try to monetize it with
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