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Why You Shouldn't Hire Your Kids to Work at Your Law Firm

By William Vogeler, Esq. on February 21, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

If President Trump goes down as the worst president in U.S. history, he could blame it on his kids.

While first-son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner are galavanting around the globe, many political commenters view the president sinking in a political and legal quagmire. From Russia to China to India, the problems keep coming back to Washington, D.C.

What has all that got to do with the price of tea in China? This is a lesson for lawyers: don't hire your kids to work for you.

Family Business

Of course, a family business is one of the American dreams. But for every touted success, there are more embarrassing failures.

Donald Calaiaro learned this lesson the hard way. His son Anthony Calaiaro was working for the law firm as an office manager.

The problem was, he was forging checks payable to himself. He did it for almost two years, embezzling $827,000 until he was caught.

To his credit, he pleaded guilty to the charges. He said he was on drugs at the time, and didn't realize how much money he took.

Two Words: Background Check

In Calaiaro's case, the firm said no clients were injured. And if you want to hire your children to work at the law firm after that cautionary tale, it's still a free country.

But lawyers have a fiduciary duty to clients, not their children. For ethical, practical and insurance reasons, it's a good idea to vet your kids.

Parents are often the last to know when their children have certain problems. It would be worst than embarrassing to find out from police.

Besides, it's a good thing for the kids to get a job in the real world before working for the family business. Look at Tiffany Trump; she chose to go to law school rather than work in the White House.

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