The Ethics of Listening - and Not Listening - to Your Clients

(6919 Ratings)

Produced on: July 23, 2015

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by

Categories:

Course Description

Time 60 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Many clients—and even some lawyers—are surprised to learn that attorneys often do not need to follow client directions, and that in some instances lawyers are prohibited from listening to clients. Attorneys who disobey client directions often face ethical, disciplinary, and civil liability concerns, while lawyers who follow those directions too closely can also face ethical problems.  

 

In this course, attorney Daniel Abrams explores problems that arise in both extremes: being too deferential and being too paternalistic. He also explores the special case of attorney decision-making with a client whose mental capacity is questionable. 

 

Learning Objectives:

I.   Navigate disagreements with clients, including when to follow the client's directive even when the attorney does not concur with it 

II.  Understand when and how to overrule a client’s request and how to reach consensus

III. Recognize how to withdraw when a disagreement is intractable

IV. Appreciate what you must do when a client shows signs of diminished capacity

Faculty

Daniel Abrams

Law Office of Daniel L. Abrams, PLLC

Daniel L. Abrams’ practice focuses on legal malpractice, and business litigation. Mr. Abrams has helped many corporations and individuals complaining of inadequate legal services or overbilling obtain relief and settlements from their former attorneys.  He represents mostly plaintiffs but occasionally defendants in legal malpractice cases and other disputes related to legal ethics, including legal fee disputes, breach of fiduciary duty cases, cases alleging conflicts of interest, and other professional responsibility issues.  Lawyers and law firms frequently hire Mr. Abrams to serve as lawyer, expert or consultant on issues related to legal ethics or the law governing lawyers.  He has taught legal ethics to other lawyers for the Practicing Law Institute, the New York State Bar Association, Lawline.com and Access MCLE. He has also appeared as a guest lecturer at Suffolk Law School.

In addition to his legal malpractice and ethics practice, Mr. Abrams has an active business litigation practice. Mr. Abrams’ clients include business owners, general counsel, and individuals in a full range of business litigation and arbitration matters.  His cases have included business dealings arising out of oil & gas contracts, licensing agreements, business mergers, employment agreements, financing arrangements, business fraud, trade secrets, and corporate whistleblower allegations.  His litigation cases include a successful multi-million dollar reversal of an arbitration award, a defense victory after a bench trial in a breach of contract case, and many favorable settlements of commercial disputes and legal malpractice cases.

Mr. Abrams received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1995 where he was an Olin Fellow of Law and Economics. He is a member of The Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, where he served on the Professional Responsibility Committee and the Subcommittee on Lawyer Promotion and Advertising from 2004-2007.  He is a member of the bar of the United States Supreme Court, Southern District of New York, Eastern District of New York, Second Circuit United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit United States Court of Appeals, and Tenth Circuit United States Court of Appeals. 

Reviews

AW
Anne W.

Very clear!

EL
Edmund L.

great program very informative

JM
Jonah M.

lecturer was polished

AR
Angela R.

enjoyed this course some interesting ideas

VH
Valerie H.

Excellent program.

GM
Gregg M.

good job dealing with a bland topic

HG
Henry G.

Good course.

LC
Lawrence C.

Very good program!

SL
Susan L.

I thought that the attorney handled the discussion skillfully.

RK
Raymond K.

I appreciated the speaker’s attention to detail and learned information I had not known before

RG
Ruth G.

Most practical of all the ethics presenters, excellent.

EC
eric c.

Very informative and insightful into the reality of the practice of law

KO
Karl O.

Good introduction to the subject.

JI
Jennifer I.

Really good program on a very important subject.

AO
Andrew O.

Listened to on the app. The app is fantastic

GL
Greg L.

Excellent

SK
Sophie K.

Fantastic presentation!

AH
Amanda H.

clear,, low-key, with excellent examples

KM
Kamran M.

very good presentation

PK
Patrick K.

this pres was very interesting, not something i heard before

BC
Barry C.

Excellent speaker and informative

TW
Tracy W.

Good speaker- good program

CM
Charles M.

Excellent Program

MG
Michael G.

Presenter could have been a little more energetic, but was informative.

TS
Timothy S.

3rd ethics course. Very dry presentation, but very effective. :-) Actually, think it worked the best for me of the three I've seen.

JD
James D.

Excellent program

TM
Thomas M.

Excellent presentation and content.

CK
Chris K.

The discussion about "Ghost Writing" was especially interesting.

JT
Jaime Alejandro T.

This is a great program which provides guidance on a good number of real life experiences, some of which I have come across in my practice.

SM
Susan M.

Very informative discussion on ethics, particularly the diminished capacity section.

MH
Marian H.

Great speaker--interesting!

LV
Linda V.

Covered common situations in easy to understand and concrete examples. Great!

LS
Lizzy S.

Great presentation. easy to follow and very relevant

TW
TAMMY W.

Very practical information! Excellent course!

GS
George S.

Sound practical advice from speaker.

GM
Gregory M.

Well dome

NM
Neil M.

Good presentation. Interesting anecdotes helped deliver the points.

RW
Rich W.

Excellent presentation. Very informative.

DC
Daniel C.

Great job.

JS
Judith S.

Well presented.

SF
Scott F.

Well done course.

CW
Carol W.

Best presenter to date.

RB
Robert B.

very informative

KC
Ken C.

Interesting speaker

ZS
Zvi S.

Good

EP
Edward P.

this was an excellent, thoughtful course

KH
Keith H.

This guy was excellent. He spoke clearly and used good, informative examples. I especially liked the fact that he was bound to his PowerPoint slides and just used them as a take off point for his discussion. I look forward to listening to Dan Abrams again.

ES
Emile S.

Easy to follow. A good presentation

RB
Robert B.

Very useful!

BQ
Bryan Q.

Very good ethics MCLE. Interesting use of a current case to explain the topic.

ZJ
Zachary J.

easy to follow and very informative with useful practice tips.

CM
Candace M.

Very informative course. Thank you.

ST
Scott T.

very well informed

JC
John C.

Good presentation.

JH
J. Donald H.

Very relevant presentation

KT
Karen T.

The presentation was well done and helpful.

JM
joseph m.

very good

JT
Joel T.

Well presented

CT
Cynthia J. T.

good presenter

GV
G Q Buck V.

This area becomes more complex with each passing year.

BD
Benjamin D.

GOOD

SB
Steven B.

good course

CP
Caroline P.

Very informative and practical information delivered in a nice, conversational tone.

JF
Julie F.

Good presentation, used good, concrete examples.

RM
Ronald M.

Well-spoken and knowledgeable presenter

GL
Greg L.

Excellent presentation

DL
Devora L.

Good program

VW
Valerie W.

Basic and to the point. Thank you. Nicely presented.

SF
Seth F.

interesting listen from an attorney who clearly has a lot of experience in this area

JG
Jay G.

Excellent, knowledgeable speaker on a specific area in Ethics. Covered thoroughly, with examples from different practice perspectives. Bravo!

DW
Dorrie W.

I believe the speaker covered many areas of ethical representation that are often ignored. Good stuff.

AW
ALAN W.

great

VM
Valerie M.

Interesting- especially really diminished capacity issues and ghost writing.

DH
David H.

Good overview of practical ethical issues

MR
Mark R.

A very thorough and interesting presentation of many complex ethical issues.

AD
Alice D.

Very helpful examples. Good references of examples to the rules.

AB
ann b.

good for ethics

BC
Brittany C.

great presentation

HP
Hugh A. P.

Good seminar

MC
michael c.

well done

DD
David D.

very well presented

RQ
Richard Q.

Very good program for diminished capacity ethical issues.

JC
Jacqueline C.

Really appreciated the discussion of addressing diminishing comprehension in older folds

FA
Folasade A.

Nice presentation.

BS
Barbara S.

Very good presentation, interesting and informative, good ptractical guidance on dealing with sticky situations within attorney ethics requirements -- such as getting a third party involved if client seems somewhat diminished in capacity, or how far to let a client direct the attorney's actions when it would conflict with ethics requirements.

WG
William G.

This class discusses extremely important considerations for every lawyer.

BC
Barbara C.

Speaker was very good.

KS
Kenneth S.

Good, solid presentation. Nice work!

AP
Andrew P.

Great information! I learned a lot!

DS
Donald S.

Better than average.

AP
Andrea P.

Written material w rules very helpful.

HV
Henry V.

Excellent

RK
Richard K.

great review and premmer

SK
Sylvia K.

His presentation is well done. Excellent

JK
Jeffrey K.

points covered were informative and actually quite significant for practice pointers

MB
Mark B.

Great range of topics covered.

AM
Ana M. M.

Exlellent topic

LH
Lee H.

Careful and exhaustive suggestions relating to responses to potential client problems and concerns!!!

ST
Susan T.

Presentation was a good reminder of how to handle difficult clients.

MC
Mark C.

Interesting topic and speaker.

WH
William H.

This was a fine presentation that nicely balanced jurisprudential theory, legal rules, and practical application.

TD
Tracy D.

Interesting information provided and I can tell it was well researched.

CS
Christopher S.

Excellent topic and some of the best review materials I've seen. Very well done!

CM
CATHERINE M.

important distinctions re dimished capacity were helpful

SW
Scott W.

good presentation

AK
Arijana K.

very informative

LC
Lee C.

really interesting!

RL
Rochelle L.

This was interesting to listen to as an in house and prospective client. The first part was a road map of things in house need to be aware of in dealing with outside counsel

MH
Mike H.

another excellent presentation

RS
Rodney S.

Informative

TQ
Timothy Q.

Very good presentation.

BS
Brenda S.

Very informative program

CT
Catherine T.

Nice presentation

CR
Chere R.

Excellent

GG
Gerardo G.

Very Helpful.

AB
Andrew B.

Good practical discussion on how to prepare for the many problems that arise in dealing with clients.

TB
Thomas B.

Great review of ethical issues.

LC
Lynne C.

Really organized and practical presentation.

WB
William B.

It would be helpful for this program to be longer, particulrly as to the recognition of diminished capacity.

WC
William C.

Mr. Abrams lectures have been the most hands on and useful!

MC
Martin C.

Great program.

SG
Stanley G.

Good presentation, particularly the section on client's diminished capacity

WC
Wayne A c.

Very good program

SB
Susan M. B.

Thoroughly enjoyed this presentation. Interesting and well organized. Great speaker.

DR
Dane R.

Excellent treatment of a vital topic for client management. .

JS
Jalal S.

great information

WG
William G.

Examples & hypothetical used very effectively.

JF
Judith Marie F.

Very practical and useful.

WD
William D.

Used just the right amount of stories.

BN
Bruce N.

A good explanation of pertinent related topics

DT
Daria T.

very informative thank you

MR
Matthew R.

Very informative and well presented!

JM
Judith M.

Excellent speaker!

JD
James D.

Well presented. Good examples and interesting topic.

SB
Susan B.

Very interesting presentation.

EZ
Elizabeth Z.

Thank you!

CD
Catherine D.

He did a great job with a relatively "new" but important area. I loved his examples since I could see all of them. He also did an excellent job with diminished capacity. I could see where he could expand it to separate talk (with examples from not just es

JA
James A.

very informative regarding rule 11

RC
Robert C.

Very interesting and helpful issue to consider and approach.

HT
Harold J T.

very comprehensive short presentation

SB
Sandra B.

well presented

RC
Richard C.

a nice representation!

JE
Joseph E.

This presenter was excellent.

SF
Susan F.

Very helpful presentation.

DG
Deborah G.

Very good!

DD
David D.

clear concise and useful

CG
Cindy G.

Great speaker!

NG
Nina Anne G.

Very clear; helpful.

RS
Rena S.

interesting presentation, well done.

MO
Michael O.

Very good presentation.

RD
Ryan D.

Thank you.

AM
Angie M.

This seminar was very informative and kept my attention.

JA
John A.

Great presentation. Valuable real-world fact patterns, examples, suggestions. Love the use of the "binary" concept.

SD
Shirley d.

Very good ;presentation.

JL
Jeffrey L.

A good competent presentation.

JC
Joan C.

Found the seminar interesting and new points for practice were noted.

LG
Lisa J. G.

All lawyers should be aware of this info. Very informative and helpful.

RC
Richard C.

Excellent speaker.

SB
Suzanne B.

Very good presentation. Thank you.

BC
Bradley C.

Great job

HB
Harry B.

vrry instructive for solo atty

MC
Mark C.

Speaker gave good perspective on when to follow client's wishes and when to control lawyer's actions based on ethical/legal issues.

WG
William G.

very practical

KF
Kirl F.

Good

HS
Herbert S.

Good speaker, organized and informative presentation

NB
Nathan B.

Very nicely done but probably too short.

JR
Jeffrey R.

Good job!

BP
Billie P.

Interesting and informative.

SH
Steve H.

Good content and explanation.

MP
michael p.

Excellent presentation.

MB
Michael B.

Very informative and direct... I feel like I can avoid malpractice now by increasing client communication. Makes sense!

CK
Clara K.

Good presentation

KD
Katharine D.

very informative and not boring, which is impressive for an ethics driven course.

NN
Nellie N.

I enjoyed the topic

JH
Jill H.

Great substance to the presentation. Very useful information in a concise format.

JF
James F.

Very clear, very direct presentation.

CM
Cameron M.

Clean presentation

AQ
Abrar Q.

Good

KN
KAREN N.

very good - different than other sessions that I have listened to!

RC
Rachel C.

So well done and very approachable.

RC
Robert C.

genuine and interesting speaker

AB
Adrienne B.

Useful

LR
Laura R.

Excellent!

RM
Robert M.

YES, VERY GOOD AND TO THE POINT!

SK
Sandra K.

A very interesting ethics topic and good presentation on the subject.

BR
Buxton R.

Very approachable presenter and easy to listen to.

RM
Robert M.

Great comprehensive review of important ethics issues that occur frequently in real-life. Very useful!

MO
Michael O.

This program had substance. Refreshing to actually learn something.

JN
Jeanne N.

A bit monotone but solid advice. Helpful.

RD
Richard D.

great

TL
Thomas L.

Good even-handed analysis of tricky ethical situations.

RK
Richard E. K.

nice

VF
Vittoria F.

Great presentation.

LR
Lawrence R.

nice job!

LM
Lawrence M.

Very good program.

CH
Caroline H.

very well paced and clear. Easy listening!

DL
debra l.

nice presentation. Easy to listen to.

PH
Patrick B. H.

helpful course

ME
Mark E.

Very helpful

MC
Michael C.

Great Course!!!

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