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SDCBA Ethics Opinion and Legal Outsourcing


Legal Outsourcing to India is slowly being accepted to be effective and successful by the legal community in the US. The much debated foreign legal outsourcing trend is to continue. Legal outsourcing industry once more received a formal recognition and acceptance after the SDCBA (San Diego County Bar Association) Ethic Opinion 2007-1 was issued that addressed a successful intellectual property litigation case from San Diego that was outsourced to an law firm in India because the attorneys did not have the competence to handle the work themselves. Different American bar associations including SDCBA and NYCBA (New York City Bar Association) have expressed that lawyers can contract with foreign lawyers even though these offshore based law profesionals are not licensed to practice within any US jurisdiction area The complete ethics opinion is available at

During the discussions it was made clear by the authorities that by outsourcing the work there is no change in the outsourcing attorney’s responsibility to the client. If the attorney is not familiar with the area of law of the concerned case, he has to first acquire the knowledge and skill needed to act/supervise authoritatively in the case. It is also the attorney’s duty to enquire the following details of the offshore service providing company.

  • Reputation of the company
  • Qualifications of those who will be doing the work
  • References of the firm
  • Look up sample of previous similar work done by them
  • Conduct an interview with the offshore firm beforehand
  • Review of ethical standards with the firm/employees
  • Contact the firm’s non lawyer workers and ensure their competence in work

The committee also states that if anticipated, it becomes the attorney’s duty to inform the US client about the outsourcing/offshoring of the work. Managed Outsource Solutions (MOS) is a US based legal outsourcing firm that offers a wide range of India legal services outsourcing like, legal research, litigation support, legal documentation, legal transcription, legal animation and legal web designing services to clients in the US, the UK, Canada and Australia.

About Julie Clements

Julie Clements

Joined the MOS team in March of 2008. Julie Clements has background in the healthcare staffing arena; as well as 6 years as Director of Sales and Marketing at a 4 star resort. Julie was instrumental in the creation of the medical record review division (and new web site); and has especially grown this division along with data conversion of all kinds.