About the Seminar
Most serious legal malpractice claims and successful state bar disciplinary actions are brought not for debatable violations of arcane, ambiguous, provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct, but, in fact, for clear breaches of obvious, well-defined ethical obligations. (Don't take money from the client trust account. Keep clients reasonably informed about the progress of a case or a transaction-even when it's bad news. Don't sleep with the attractive domestic client you are representing in an ongoing divorce proceeding. Be candid with the court, etc..) It's not rocket science-in fact, anyone who has sat in on a basic Professional Responsibility class would know such conduct is ethically problematic. And yet it happens. A lot. Even to our own friends and colleagues.
This engaging, highly interactive program provides a fresh and practical perspective on the fundamental question, “Why do 'good' lawyers 'go bad'?” Clips from an original short film, written and co-produced by ReelTime CLE founders Michael Kahn and Chris Osborn, will be used to foster discussion among seminar participants regarding the intersection of ethical decision-making and the manifold sources of stress encountered by attorneys in day-to-day practice.
"You're a lawyer, right?" Seemingly innocuous words, but when said at a cocktail party, family gathering, or even in a hallway or elevator at the courthouse, they pose a genuine challenge, don't they? We want to use our training to help folks, right? After all, isn't that at least a part of why many of us went to law school? And yet, how many times has a conversation that began with those very words turned out to be the source of tremendous trouble? Beyond the obvious risk of getting sidetracked from the social occasion in which one is supposed to be participating, or the task one is trying to accomplish, there lurk even greater dangers. As some poor, unfortunate souls have learned, if a lawyer is not careful in responding, he or she may inadvertently create a professional relationship, without intending to do so--leaving the lawyer potentially exposed to a malpractice claim. And even if an attorney-client relationship is not deemed to have been formed, a would-be client may nevertheless believe that he or she is communicating with the prospective lawyer in confidence for the purpose of obtaining legal services; if that belief is found to have been a reasonable one, the attorney may end up prohibited from disclosing any confidential information communicated. This new live, interactive workshop from ReelTime CLE is designed to help lawyers be more alert to the vulnerabilities they may face in various non-office settings, and to equip them with best practices for defining their roles up front, and setting clear boundaries with the person seeking advice. With the aid of three original film vignettes depicting three all-too- common challenging scenarios, participants will have an opportunity to identify their own particular areas of potential exposure, and to develop proactive strategies for navigating these situations with less risk and greater peace of mind.
Welcome and Introduction
“What's the Connection?” - The Role of Stress in Ethical Decision-making
Nobody Told Me, Scene 1: “Just don't screw it up.”
“What's Driving the Train?” - The Role of Core Values
Nobody Told Me, Scene 2: “You're a smart young man...”
“Separate Tracks?” - The Interplay of Professional & Personal Stressors
Nobody Told Me, Scene 3: “Please, just let me survive today....”
“How Did I Get Here, Anyway?” - Small Choices, Big Detours
Nobody Told Me, Scene 4: “Well... what do you think?”
Getting (Back) on Track-and Staying There: Practical Steps to Maintaining Ethical Commitments in the Face of Ordinary--and Extraordinary-Stress
“The Accidental Lawyer”: Terms of Engagement
Introduction, and Ground Rules
Pitfall No. 1: Public Places - When There's No Escape
Episode 1: Flakes on a Plane
Pitfall No. 2: Friends and Relations
Episode 2: Guess Who Shouldn't Have Come to (Thanksgiving) Dinner
Pitfall No. 3: The On-Site Client Visit
Episode 3: “Dude, Where's MY Lawyer?”
Accidents Don't Have to Happen: Practical Steps for Protecting Yourself from Perils, Pitfall, and Problems
This seminar qualifies for 5.83 MCLE credit hours, including up to 2.83 LEPR credit hours, and 3.0 SA/MH credit hours.
This seminar is Basic to Intermediate Level.
Note: When submitting your compliance reports to the SC Commission on CLE and Specialization, please use this course code if you completed the program in 2019: 194969ADO