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Legal Duties of Local Counsel

It starts as a call from an out-of-state attorney advising that his client has been sued in your venue, and asking you to assist him by serving as local counsel. The out-of-state attorney instructs that he will direct the handling of the case, will have sole contact with the client and your role will be to assure all court filings comply with the local rules.

As local counsel, what duties do you owe to the client? They vary greatly from state to state; however, the mistake of failing to report malfeasance by lead counsel can turn out to be very costly. This article will review various positions taken by courts across the country, and also provide a best practices checklist.

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