A busy law firm sometimes needs the help of a per diem attorney to cover an unavoidable scheduling conflict or a calendar call. Hiring a per diem lawyer saves the firm money and allows the partner or associate to devote more time to current cases.
However, the firm must be careful not to run afoul of ethics rules. Whether the per diem attorney jobs appearance will be for a simple scheduling matter or to argue a motion in court, it is important to understand whether the hiring lawyer should obtain client consent. The answer depends on the scope of the work that will be delegated to the outside lawyer and the nature of the client’s confidential information.
For example, a lawyer should ordinarily obtain client consent before contracting with an outside lawyer to perform substantive or strategically significant legal work on which the outside lawyer will exercise independent judgment without close supervision or review by the lawyer’s own firm see Rule 1.1, Comment 7A. In contrast, where the court call is expected to involve a simple scheduling matter and there is no risk of the sharing of sensitive client confidences, then the hiring lawyer may reasonably expect that the appearance will involve only a routine matter and that the outside lawyer will not have ongoing involvement in the pending matter.
Per diem attorneys are freelance and independent contractors who appear in various courts on behalf of firms that retain them as “attorneys of record” for specific matters. The handling attorney provides the per diem attorney with specific instructions regarding the matter and the specific court appearance and the per diem attorney performs the appearance in accordance with those instructions.
AppearMe is a new service that helps lawyers in need of a per diem attorney find one quickly. The service is operated by non-lawyers and charges a flat fee to participating lawyers, both hiring attorneys and per diem attorneys “participating lawyers”. When a lawyer in need of a per diem attorney posts a court appearance request on the Service website or mobile application the “Service”, the service notifies thousands of lawyers registered in the AppearMe portal who are available to do the job “appearance attorneys”. The first appearance attorney to claim a job offer acts as the hiring lawyer.
The process is fast and efficient. An appearance attorney can be found within minutes of a posting, and most often in less than a minute after the job offer is posted. This is due to the smart solution employed by AppearMe which drives for speed and results. In addition, AppearMe has a proven track record in NYC and New Jersey, with thousands of assignments completed successfully. AppearMe also has a team of legal professionals ready to assist with any questions. You can apply for an appearance in Supreme, Appellate, Civil, Small Claims and Landlord-Tenant court, as well as for NY Supreme Court evictions, foreclosures and collections.