When Reporting on your SC Commission Compliance Report, please use this code: 182203ADT

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About the Teleseminar

Whenever an attorney takes money from a client – for fees billed, to cover expenses, as a retainer, or held in trust – there are substantial ethical issues involved.  Many ethical complaints arise from client accusations that an attorney mishandled funds.  In billing and collecting fees and expenses, there are issues about whether the fees and expenses were explained in advance and are proper in amount in relation to services delivered.  If an attorney accepts credit cards from clients, there significant issue related to disclosure, Truth-in-Lending laws, chargebacks, pass-through of merchant processing fees, and confidentiality.  In trust funds, there are issues of segregation of funds, accounting, setoff of dispute amounts, and more. This program will provide you with a practical guide to the many ethical issues that arise when attorneys, clients, and money mix.

  • Lawyers ethics in taking and handling client money
  • Traps in trust fund accounting and the risks of “set-offs” of disputed amounts
  • Disclosure and documentation of trust accounting of client money
  • Retainers – use, accounting, and regular communications
  • Accepting credit card payments from clients –  pass-through processing fees, Truth-in-Lending, disclosure and confidentiality
  • Confidentiality when a client has a dispute with his credit card company – ethical tension of client duties and contractual obligations
  • Use of credit cards to fund a retainer and related trust fund accounting issues – trust funds v. operating funds

About the Speaker

Thomas E. Spahn is a partner in the McLean, Virginia office of McGuireWoods, LLP, where he has a substantial practice advising clients on properly creating and preserving the attorney-client privilege and work product protections.  For more than 30 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 a 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

(Instruction Level: Intermediate)*Live Teleseminar programs are not live credit programs.  Supreme Court Commission on CLE rules allow SC Bar members to use Alternatively Delivered programming to obtain up to 6.0 hours of MCLE each reporting period.   For FAQ’s please click here.