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10 Commandments of Defensive Lawyers
Featuring Marc Garfinkle
presented by
The South Carolina Bar-Continuing Legal Education Division
 
Live Only at the
Bar Conference Center
1501 Park Street
Columbia, SC 29201

MCLE/JCLE/LEPR CREDIT
This program qualifies for 6.5 MCLE credit hours, including up to 2.33 LEPR credit hours.
 
About the Seminar
The South Carolina Bar CLE Division announces a special end-of-year program featuring nationally-known Seton Hall
University Law School Adjunct Professor, Marc Garfinkle. “The Ten Commandments of Defensive Lawyering” will
provide practical guidance to build and maintain an ethical and successful law practice. Take advantage now to
complete your annual MCLE/LEPR compliance and benefit from Marc’s knowledge as a first-rate CLE lecturer and his
experience as a sole practitioner. Registrants receive a downloadable copy of Marc’s amazing book “$olo Contendere.” Whether you’re a sole practitioner, considering starting your own firm or firmly entrenched at a law firm of any size, this seminar will revolutionize the way you think about clients, colleagues and most of all yourself!
 
Agenda
 
8:00 a.m.               Registration
 
8:30 a.m.               Introduction and Program Overview
 
                                The Ten Commandments - “Thou shalt:”
                                 I.  Know thy stuff and know thy depth (Ethics)
                                 ·       Diligence, competence and ethics
                                 ·       Knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em
                                 ·       Developing expertise
                                 ·       Carving out a practice nitch       
 
                                 II.   Seek strategic relationships with other lawyers that can help thee
                                 ·       Developing referral relationships
                                 ·       Pro bono work as a key to success.
                                 ·       Networking and networking groups
                                 ·       Mentoring, at any stage of the game
 
10:15 a.m.            Break
 
10:30 a.m.            III.  Recognize and avoid conflicts of interest (Ethics)
                                ·       How conflicts are like poisonous snakes in the grass
                                ·       Typical conflicts for solos and small firm lawyers
                                ·       Typical conflicts for big-firm lawyers (note the hyphen)
                                ·       A word about conflict-avoidance
                                ·       Most conflicts can be waived
 
                               IV.   Recognize and avoid problem clients
                                ·       Working for friends or family
                                ·       Avoid cases that two or more attorneys have handled before you
                                ·       Avoid the ”bad case “ carrot
                                ·       Spotting clients with ulterior motives
                                ·       Handling clients with psychiatric or personality problems
 
12 p.m.                 Lunch
 
1:15 p.m.              V.    Manage thy client’s expectations
                                ·       The Revolution of Rising Expectations
                                ·       Don’t kill the messenger
                                ·       The client’s right to be kept “informed”
                 
                               VI.   Put it in writing (Ethics)
                                ·       Papering your file defensively
                                ·       Communications with the court, the adversary or third parties
                                ·       Communicating with the client
                                ·       Using the NCR form
 
                               VII.   Know when and how to get out of a case
                                ·       Economic, ethical and other good reasons to fire a client
                                ·       CYA and pick your battles carefully
                                ·       Matters in litigation – STAT!
 
3 p.m.                   Break
 
3:15 p.m.             VIII.    Organize thy professional life defensively
                                ·       Using your diary defensively
                                ·       Opening, closing and storing case files
                                ·       Reviewing active files
 
                              IX.   Treat everyone well, including thyself
                               ·       Charge fairly, bill often
                               ·       Turn strangers into clients
                               ·       Turn clients into rainmakers
                               ·       Social media and firm handshakes
                 
                              X.   Respect thy confidences and keep them to thyself
                               ·       The attorney-client privilege
                               ·       There is no “attorney can tell a colleague” exception
                               ·       The famous client you can’t talk about, and other dilemmas
 
4:45 p.m.              Adjourn