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The Ethics of Listening - and Not Listening - To Your Clients (Update) (Audio Only)

(206 reviews)

Produced on March 26, 2020

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$ 99 Ethics and Litigation In Stock
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Course Information

Time 1h 2m
Difficulty Beginner
Topics covered in this course: Ethics Litigation

Course Description

Lawyers frequently face client requests and instructions which are questionable, ill-informed, or even illegal. Many clients and even some lawyers are surprised to learn that lawyers often do not need to follow client directions, and in some instances lawyers are prohibited from listening to clients, or commit legal malpractice when they do. Lawyers who disobey client directions often face ethical, disciplinary, and civil liability concerns, while lawyers who follow ill-advised client directions face equally-hazardous ethics and malpractice issues. This program will explore problems that arise in both extremes -- being too deferential, and being too paternalistic.  The course will conclude by exploring the special case of whether and when an attorney calls the shots with a client who's mental capacity is diminished or questionable. 

Taught by Daniel Abrams, this program will provide attorneys both substantive knowledge about when it is appropriate to defer to a client's demand, and a framework to approach difficult questions related to deferring to client wishes that most attorneys face with some regularity.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Navigate disagreements with clients, including when to follow the client's directive even when the attorney does not concur with it  
  1. Discuss when and how to overrule a client’s request, and how to reach consensus 
  1. Recognize how to withdraw when a disagreement is intractable
  1. Appreciate what you must do when a client shows signs of diminished capacity

Credit Information

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


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. 


Dorothy P.


Amy L.

Would be very interested in hearing more from this lawyer on ethics of incapacitated (or especially developing dementia) type clients. Excellent course

Carroll M.

The speaker was excellent! He added to his slides well, followed them and made a very interesting hour of learning!


Very informative and practical

Yvonne B.

Very recent update. Don't recall what was new from last one a few years ago but surely informative whether significant adds or refresher.

Holly R.

Important and helpful thank you!

Russell A.

very helpful...great slides

Bruce C.

Well done under unusual circumstances

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