What should you do if a client shows up with copies of his employer's confidential documents? What if the client's employer is a hospital and the documents are private medical records of individual patients? May you review the documents? Use them to prepare a lawsuit? What are your obligations to the owner of the confidential information? This program will address the unique ethical issues lawyers face in whistleblower litigation under the False Claims Act and other statutes that provide incentives for whistleblowers to report fraud and abuse.
San Diego County Deputy District Attorney, Wendy Patrick, returns to discuss the most recent and cutting-edge developments related to the "Big 3" issues within the legal profession: Ethics, Substance Abuse and the Elimination of Bias. Ms. Patrick begins by covering the most relevant ethical rules and standards, including the latest ethics opinions on avoiding ethical landmines in cyberspace when investigating and litigating cases. She then addresses professional conduct laws and rules that apply to both substance abuse and mental illness including a provocative discussion on such issues as (1) recognizing symptomology (2) dealing with impaired individuals in the practice of law and (3) various methods of prevention. Ms. Patrick concludes with applicable laws and standards regarding bias and discrimination, including the different types of protected classes and their specific application within the legal profession.
Michael Ross is a leading expert in Professional Responsibility and Attorney Ethics, who has taught Ethics courses for Continuing Education and for law schools for many years. This engaging program uses realistic examples drawn from Mr. Ross' own experiences as an attorney to explain how an attorney should respond to a potential ethics issue. For example, Mr. Ross discusses how to handle conflicts that arise when dealing with two related clients that want to retain you as an attorney for both of them. Furthermore, he also explains the importance of drafting custom-tailored waivers for all an attorney's clients and why it is important to stay away from using a boilerplate waiver form. Additionally, Mr. Ross uses the famous NY "Beth Israel" case to demonstrate the intricate nature of Electronically Stored Information. Michael Ross also expounds upon the issues that arise when technology, personal information and data, and company equipment intersect and how that affects evidence, discovery, and ethics. Throughout this program, Mr. Ross uses his aptly established "metrics" to describe how using the Rules of Professional Responsibility do not restrict an attorney's freedom in representing his or her client, but actually empower an attorney to best represent the client.
In adoption proceedings, it is crucial that attorneys follow the appropriate ethical guidelines in representing the placing parent in order to avoid, and reduce, contested placements. In addition to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys has an additional Code of Ethics that is especially attuned to the issues of placing parent fraud and other adoption issues. Join Colleen Quinn as she reviews the specific ethical considerations that attorneys must be aware of when working with these types of cases. She will begin by reviewing how to properly adhere to the ABA Rules in representing the placing parent. She will then illuminate on how to look for potential red flags that the adoption may not be successful and understand the key ethical issues in representing the placing parent. She will also review the applicable statutes and case law that affect the placing parent, including the recent Supreme Court decision in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl, that the attorney needs to be aware of to ensure the adoption is successful.
As a result of the law enforcement investigation, charges have been filed against the corporation and certain offices. What happens now? This program discusses procedures of the case from charges to trial or plea. Where uncharged corporate employees are witnesses, how may the prosecutors and defense counsel ethically obtain information? What are the potential traps for unwary counsel responding to criminal charges? Participants will obtain insight into these questions and become better prepared to represent a witness or defendant to criminal charges.
The secret is out: as technology has become more prevalent in everyday legal practice, firms have become prime targets for a range of cyber threats. In addition to hackers, scams, and even trusted staff members quietly stealing confidential data, careless employees or third-party contractors can expose a law firm to costly penalties, fines and worse. As a result, in 2012 the American Bar Association amended a number of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct to address the increasing use of technology in legal practice and the ongoing need to safeguard client and firm data. Join attorney and cyber security consultant Scott Aurnou as he discusses the Rules at issue, the amendments to them and the effect of those changes. Mr. Aurnou will cover the basic steps needed to comply with the amended Rules, including measures to secure your firm’s computer network and the confidential client, e-discovery and firm data stored on computers, mobile devices and in the cloud, as well as the potential costs of non-compliance.
When the dust settled after World War II, compensation for war victims for assets or property seized by the Nazis was often ignored or evaded until it could be addressed at a more "suitable" time. And even more difficult for attorneys was figuring out the tenuous balance between advocating zealously for their clients as per attorney ethics and addressing the larger social picture. Join attorneys Paul Kerson and Joseph Yamaner as they draw upon their personal experiences in navigating the delicate balancing act of fighting for the rights of their World War II war victim client(s) but also taking into considerations the bigger social implications of trying to reclaim Jewish assets that Nazis seized during WWII. This CLE teaches attorneys how to proceed when a client approaches you about this type of war crime seizure case, and specifically, what are the ethical implications that you should consider before commencing an action.
How do you find your next client? Networking groups are a great way to build your practice and get your name out in the community. Some websites allow lawyers to place bids to get customers. The costs of these services are low, but the money to be earned is pretty high. Sounds like a no-brainer right?
These sources of business raise ethical questions regarding fee splitting with nonlawyers, attorney-client relations, and conflicts of interest. As more attorneys are solicited into business networking groups and as more and more websites pop up that allow attorneys to seek clients online, it is most important to know the ethical guidelines for these areas. It is also important to know the rules regarding giving a referral or recommendation to a client of another attorney or non-attorney. This legal ethics course will give you the knowledge you'll need to comply with the ethics rules and allow peace of mind in your business development and referrals practices.