Child Support Manipulation

Step 1
Read the following fact pattern.
Assume that you are a paralegal in the law office of Christopher Pino, Esquire, a solo family law practitioner who represents William Pelletier in the fact pattern presented in Assignment 12.  You are impressed with William and the personal sacrifice and commitment he intends to make as a missionary. While sitting with you in your office, William tells you that he expects Attorney Pino to represent him on a pro bono basis. In response, you tell him that Attorney Pino never accepts pro bono cases. William also tells you that because he has some substantial assets, he probably will be ordered to pay child support, but doesn’t think he should have to under the circumstances. You sympathize with him and suggest that if he can get Betty to agree to let him satisfy his child support obligation in the form of alimony rather than child support, he will be able to deduct it from his income and at least receive that advantage. You also suggest that he should try to get the dependency exemptions for the three children. You later tell Attorney Pino about this conversation, and he is very concerned.
Step 2
Review ethical canons.
Scan ethical canons for guidance on the action you should take as the paralegal in this fact pattern. Use the Internet to search for the canons provided by the National Federation of Paralegal Associations and/or the canons provided by the National Association of Legal Assistants.
Step 3

Respond to the following, and if appropriate, include personal experience as part of your answer.

Referring to the ethical canons for paralegals provided by the NFPA or the NALA, describe the ethical issues the incident raises and explain how you have violated them.
Recommend an appropriate course of action given your conduct.

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