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About the Teleseminar

Lawyers and client money is an ethically fraught minefield.  Most ethics complaints arise from client accusations that their attorneys mishandled their funds.  Attorneys may be accused of not properly charging off or returning retainers or of mishandling client funds held in trust or escrow.  Attorneys sometimes are also the beneficiary of client gifts – bequests at death – that a client’s other beneficiaries may vigorously contest.  Attorneys may also benefit from certain lucrative business opportunities with a client.  If those opportunities do not unfold as planned, clients may turn on their attorneys and accuse them of wrongdoing.  This program will provide you with a real-world guide application of the ethics rules when attorneys take, hold and disburse client money, including as retainers, in trust, or in the form of gifts or business opportunities. 

  •    Attorney ethics when taking, holding and disbursing client money
  •    Proper use and charging off of retainers for services
  •     Ethical risks and best practices of holding client money in trust
  •    Accepting client gifts at death or during lifetime – what’s allowed, what’s not?
  •    Going into business with a client – can you be lawyer and business partner at the same time?
  •     Best practices for avoiding liability


About the Speakers

Lucian T. Pera is a partner in the Memphis office of Adams & Reese, LLP.  His practice includes professional malpractice litigation as well as counseling lawyers and law firms in the area of ethics and professional responsibility.  He was a member of the ABA’s Ethics 2000 Commission and is co-author of "Ethics and Lawyering Today," a national e-mail newsletter on lawyer ethics, which is accessible at: www.ethicsandlawyering.com.  Before entering private practice, he served as a judicial clerk to Judge Harry W. Wellford of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.  Mr. Pera received his A.B. with honors from Princeton University and his J.D. from Vanderbilt University School of Law.

Thomas E. Spahn is a partner in the McLean, Virginia office of McGuireWoods, LLP, where he has a broad complex commercial, business and securities litigation practice. He also has a substantial practice advising businesses on properly creating and preserving the attorney-client privilege and work product protections.  For more than 20 years he has lectured extensively on legal ethics and professionalism and has written “The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine: A Practitioner’s Guide,” a 750 page treatise published by the Virginia Law Foundation.  Mr. Spahn has served as member of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and as a member of the Virginia State Bar's Legal Ethics Committee.  He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University and his J.D. from Yale Law School.

Mandatory MCLE Credit Hours

This seminar qualifies for 1.0 MCLE Credit Hour, including up to 1.0 LEPR Credit Hour. (Tentative)


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