Wills, Trusts &  Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Administration, Guardianships, Powers of Attorney

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 Gene Silverblatt | Paralegals | Interns


 

Amanda Mahlstedt

Amanda is a top graduate of the paralegal program at Central Texas College. Among her past accomplishments is working as a branch manager for a local bank.  Her primary areas of responsibility are Probate and Annual Accountings. She is also Mr. Silverblatt's administrative assistant and office manager.

 

 

 

What is a paralegal / legal assistant?

Here at Silverblatt Law Office we use paralegals to promote speed and efficiency, while keeping legal costs to a minimum.  Paralegals, are a rapidly growing but distinguishable group of persons who assist attorneys in the delivery of legal services. Through formal education, training, and experience, legal assistants have knowledge and expertise which qualify them to do work of a legal nature under the supervision of an attorney. They function much like an accountant does in a CPA firm or a physician's assistant in a hospital.

In this office we follow the guide-lines set out by the National Association of Legal Assistants Model Standards, those set out by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations, and the American Bar Associationís Guidelines for Utilization of Paralegals. The latter guidelines establish that a legal assistant may perform any function properly delegated by an attorney, including the following:

1. Conduct client interviews and maintain general contact with the client after establishment of the attorney-client relationship, so long as the client is aware of the status and function of the paralegal, and the client contact is under the supervision of the attorney.

2. Locate and interview witnesses, so long as the witnesses are aware of the status and function of the legal assistant.

3. Conduct investigations and statistical and documentary research for review by the attorney.

4. Conduct legal research for review by the attorney.

5. Draft legal documents for review by the attorney.

6. Draft correspondence and pleadings for review by and signature of the attorney.

7. Summarize depositions, interrogatories, and testimony for review by the attorney.

8. Attend executions of wills, real estate closings, depositions, court or administrative hearings and trials with the attorney.

9. Author and sign letters, provided the paralegal status is clearly indicated and the correspondence does not contain independent legal opinions or legal advice.

Our paralegals are school trained and experienced individuals. Your case file, although often handled by the legal assistants, will not have any action taken without the attorney's review and approval. Be assured that your case is personally monitored, reviewed, and supervised by Mr. Silverblatt. Further, you always have the right to meet with him to personally discuss your case. There will also be times when you have asked for a legal opinion that the paralegals cannot provide. Should this occur, the legal assistant will get an opinion from the attorneys and then relay it back to you or she may have you meet with one of them so that legal options can be discussed.