I have been corresponding with a law firm that emphasizes collection work. The person I am corresponding with has the same last name as the lawyer in the letterhead. The person signs the letterhead and responds and sends me letters. I just discovered the person is not a lawyer. Is there anything illegal about what is going on?

A law firm that allows paralegals or secretaries to sign their name without identifying their position, particularly when it suggests they are attorneys, is in violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct and potentially a criminal statute. All lawyers should seek to make certain that their non-legal staff complies with the Rules of Professional Conduct and are supervised properly.

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