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Professionalism Month
STRATUM

Office Sharing

You'll find links to general guidelines, as well as sample agreements, ethics opinions, articles and handouts from CBA programs to the left.

From a practical standpoint, here are some quick basic ethical tips to implement re: office sharing:

  • Separate message pads for each attorney.
  • Separate in boxes for each attorney, preferably in their office.
  • Separate out boxes for each attorney, preferably in their office.
  • Separate file cabinets for each attorney, which are locked when the attorney is not in the office.
  • For attorneys who choose to use their floors as their filing cabinets, a locked office door when the attorney is not in the office.
  • No conversations regarding matters between the staff member and the attorney or anyone else in a public area, including the reception area.
  • No discussions about anything you are working on with any other attorneys or staff in the office who are not part of your firm.
  • Fax receipt directly into the attorney's e-mail box using a service like efax.  If not, only the staff member should review and separate the faxes, to ensure one attorney does not handle and accidentally review faxes of the other attorney.
  • Separate log sheets for faxes, packages, postage, copies or anything of a "soft cost" nature.
  • A "no paper" policy in the library or conference room(s).  Nothing should ever be left behind when the attorney departs from these locations.
  • Separate folder passwords for each attorney's documents on the computer, even if each attorney provides a separate computer for the staff member to use on their behalf.