Ghostwriting pleadings for a pro se litigant violates a lawyer's ethical duty of candor to the court and may violate federal court rules, U.S. Magistrate Judge Tonianne Bongiovanni held in a case of first impression in New Jersey. The judge barred a lawyer from informally assisting a widow in her ERISA suit against Merck's pension program, and ordered him to enter an appearance by March 30 if he wanted to represent the litigant. The opinion offers guidance for attorneys who offer "unbundled" services.
'Ghostwriting' Lawyer Effaced From ERISA Case on Ethics Grounds
New Jersey Law Journal
March 21, 2007