Category Archives: Ethics & Professionalism

CA CLE: New Ethics Rules Coming to California

Yes, this time it will really happen.  Over a decade in the works, California is very close to finalizing a new set of ethics rules. The latest three-year rules revision effort is nearly complete and the new Rules of Professional Conduct will soon become a reality for all attorneys in California.  The last step is for the Supreme Court approve the new revisions.

California Ethics Rules Revision

What can you expect – drastic change or much ado about nothing?

To learn more about how you will be impacted by the new California ethics rules join trial attorney and ethics expert Ed McIntyre as he discusses the possible revisions. Ed mainly addresses how the new rules will vary from exiting California ethics rules and he also compares the new proposed rules to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. To access the course please click here: A Sneak Peek at the Possible New Rules of Professional Conduct.

The following rules are addressed:

  • Confidentiality
  • Diligence
  • Conflicts of interests
  • Duties to former clients
  • Safekeeping of client property
  • Delay of litigation
  • Fairness to opposing counsel
  • Lawyer as a witness
  • Candor to the tribunal
  • Truthfulness in statements to others
  • Communications with unrepresented persons
  • Inadvertent production
  • Duties of supervising attorneys

Edward J. McIntyre practices complex business litigation in federal and state courts. A veteran trial attorney, he is also an expert on the topic of professional responsibility.  He now advises and represents attorneys on issues of professional responsibility, risk mitigation and professional negligence.

This CLE course is only offered in:

  • California (CA)

Attorney Credits offers CLE for attorneys in California. For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

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CLE Course: Dealing with Cognitive Bias in Trial from Voir Dire to Deliberations

Fairness is a fundamental tenet of the American judicial system. However, no matter how rational and fair people think they might be, all individuals have cognitive biases that effect their judgement and beliefs. These cognitive biases play out in the courtroom everyday across the country and ultimately influence the behavior and decisions of jurors, witnesses, attorneys and judges.

Bias & the Legal Profession

From voir dire to deliberations, the potential biases of the jurors will have a huge impact on the result of the case.

In this CLE course, trial attorney Joel Selik discusses common social and decision making biases encountered during voir dire, at trial and during jury deliberations. Mr. Selik addresses the following subjects: why we have to identify biases for jury trials, the common types of biases exhibited by jurors & attorneys, how attorneys can use bias and ideas to elicit & overcome bias in voir dire. Mr. Selik also discusses methods of determining juror bias and common biases such as tort reform bias and blaming others. To access the course please click here: Dealing with Cognitive Bias in Trial from Voir Dire to Deliberations.

The types of biases discussed include:

  • Social bias
  • Fundamental attribution error
  • Illusory superiority
  • Ingroup bias
  • Trait ascription bias
  • Defensive attribution hypothesis
  • Anchoring bias
  • Attentional bias
  • Availability heuristic
  • Cheerleader effect
  • Regressive fallacy
  • Conservatism
  • Confirmation bias
  • Hindsight bias

Joel G. Selik is a member of both the California and Nevada State Bars. His practice primarily focuses on Litigation and Tax. Mr. Selik has given many seminars on Estate Planning, Nursing Home Litigation and other legal topics and was an Adjunct Professor of Law at a local law school.

This CLE course is offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Missouri (MO)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers CLE for attorneys in New York and around the country. For more information about CLE in New York please click the following link: NY CLE.

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CA CLE: Don’t Forget the Ethics, Bias and Competence Issues by the California MCLE Deadline

Under the CA MCLE Rules, California attorneys are required to complete 25 hours of minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) every three years. Of those 25 required CA CLE hours, attorneys must complete at least 12.5 hours for participatory credit.[1]

CA MCLE Requirement – Specialty Credits

  • 4.0 Legal Ethics
  • 1.0 Competence Issues
  • 1.0 Elimination of Bias

California attorneys also have specialty credits that must be completed.  Each three year compliance period California attorneys must complete 4.0 hours of Legal Ethics, 1.0 hour of Competence Issues, 1.0 hour of Elimination of Bias. Please note that California attorneys in Group 3 (Last Names N-Z) must report MCLE compliance by March 1.[2]  For more information about California please click here: CA CLE.

[1] For online streaming video CA CLE courses you must click on randomly inserted pop ups while you are viewing the CLE video to confirm that you are watching the course. For downloadable and CD CLE courses we have embedded numeric codes in the courses. You must write these number codes down and then enter them on our website after you complete the CA CLE course to obtain your course certificate.

[2] California attorneys that are in Group 3 for MCLE reporting purposes are technically required to complete their required CA MCLE by February 1, 2017.  However, if Group 3 California attorneys complete and report their MCLE compliance by March 1, 2017, it will be accepted and they will not be penalized nor will they be assessed a late fee.

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New CLE: From Harry Ellis to Trump – The Ethics of Federal Disqualification Motions

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Spanning four trials and twenty years, the Harry Bridges saga marked one of the most brutal and longest civil litigation battles in American history in the deportation context. Even after the Supreme Court called it a relentless “crusade” – a veritable case of “man’s intolerance to man,” the Executive lawyers and FBI investigators continued to relentlessly pursued the imprisonment and deportation of this one man, Harry Bridges.

Harry Bridges: Life and Legacy[1]

Harry Bridges was one of the most influential labor leaders in US history.  Frequently at odds with conservative elements in the labor movement, and often vilified by employers and government officials, Bridges made the International Longshore and Warehouse Union into a progressive pillar of US trade unionism.

Attorney and author Peter Afrasiabi examines the ethical issues related to federal disqualification motions by delving into the fascinating Harry Ellis case and examining President Trump’s calls to disqualify Judge Gonzalo Curiel from his civil fraud. By analyzing a number of additional case examples, Peter also highlights the questions related to the timing of bringing these motions, when you should bring such motions, when you should refrain from brining these motions and the ethical issues associated with these motions. From Harry Ellis to Trump: The Ethics of Federal Disqualification Motions.

The following ethical situation swill be analyzed:

  • A judge’s prior relationship with parties
  • A judge’s prior relationship with a witness
  • A judge’s prior relationship with lawyer
  • A judge’s public commentary on issues
  • Disqualification motions brought on race-charges

From battles with Madonna over the “Material Girl” brand to fair use disputes with the Eagles’ Don Henley to protecting such iconic brands as Bettie Page in trademark and trade dress disputes, Peter R. Afrasiabi primarily handles copyright, trademark, and entertainment disputes.

This CLE course is offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Missouri (MO)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers CLE for attorneys in New York and around the country. For more information about CLE in New York please click the following link: NY CLE.

[1] Harry Bridges: Life and Legacy

http://depts.washington.edu/dock/Harry_Bridges_intro.shtml

CA MCLE: Don’t Forget Participatory & Legal Ethics!!

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California attorneys with last names N-Z (Group 3) must complete and report and report compliance with the CA MCLE requirement by the February 1 CA CLE reporting deadline. California attorney beware: the State Bar of California  has been conducting thousands of California MCLE audits each year. Below, you will find some of the top mistakes California attorneys make when completing their CA MCLE.

California MCLE – Do It Right!

  • 25 total hours
  • 12.5 participatory hours
  • 4 Ethics
  • 1 Bias
  • 1 Competence Issues (formerly substance abuse)

Please make sure to properly complete your CA CLE requirements. You will feel much better in July when you get that MCLE audit letter from the State Bar of California in your mailbox!! For more information about California CLE please click here: CA CLE.

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Preventing Legal Malpractice: 60 Tips in 60 Minutes

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Take cases outside of your main practice area. Forget to calendar key dates. Co-mingle client and firm funds. And whatever you don’t, don’t call or email your clients to keep them informed about their cases. This is a blueprint of how NOT to practice law – or what to do if you want to be disbarred or end up on the wrong side of malpractice lawsuit.

Ethics violations and legal malpractice lawsuits have skyrocketed the last few decades.

Law firms and attorneys must recognize and evaluate their legal risk to avoid damaging ethical violations and costly malpractice lawsuits. In this fast paced CLE course, William T. McCaffery provides 60 tips in 60 minutes to educate you on how to recognize key ethical violations so you can sleep good at night and avoid the nightmare of getting sued. A few of the key areas Mr. McCaffery discusses include being competent, avoiding problem clients, conflicts of interest, establishing the attorney-client relationship, client billing and supervising other attorneys & support staff.

This CLE course will teach you about:

  • Your increasing exposure to legal malpractice claims
  • The top activities that lead to malpractice claims
  • Easy ways to reduce exposure to potential lawsuits

William T. McCaffery focuses on legal malpractice defense, professional liability, commercial litigation and general liability defense. Among other areas of professional liability and defense litigation, he represents attorneys and law firms that have been sued for legal malpractice in cases ranging from real estate and personal injury matters to complex business transactions and commercial litigation.

This CLE course is offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers CLE for attorneys in New York and around the country. For more information about CLE in New York please click the following link: NY CLE.

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CLE: Ethical Issues in Social Media and eDiscovery

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Social media offers attorneys and law firms the opportunity to build credibility & trust with clients, uncover relevant facts & information about cases, clients and opposing attorneys, and to bring in new business. Unfortunately, social media also creates many new ethical pitfalls for attorneys. Law firms, attorneys, and staff must ensure that their online activities adhere to ethical and professional rules of conduct – even without the guidance of specific electronic ethical rules.

Ethics 2.0

  • Can you list specialties or endorsements on your LinkedIn page?
  • Is it ethical to send a Facebook friend request to an individual involved in pending litigation?
  • Can you ethically advise clients to remove tweets from their Twitter account on the eve of trial?

In this timely presentation, attorneys Kathryn Konzen and Ross Mecham provide best practices for the ethical use of social media, offer practical ethical guidance regarding common scenarios and highlight situations & online activities to avoid. The main ethical duties covered include the Duty of Competence, candor & fairness to the court & opposing counsel, the duty to supervise, requesting & producing documents & data, accuracy of discovery certifications and protection of the attorney-client privilege. To access the course please click here: Ethical Issues in Social Media and eDiscovery.

Further issues discussed in this CLE:

  • Ethical pitfalls & risks
  • FRCP Rule 1
  • Zealous advocacy
  • ABA Model Rule 1.1 & the Duty of Electronic Competence
  • Examples of unethical online conduct
  • Examples of ethical/unethical advertising
  • Website disclaimers
  • Retention
  • Inadvertent formation of the attorney-client relationship
  • The Duty of Confidentiality
  • Avoiding online Conflicts of Interest
  • Recruiting
  • Investigation
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Blogging about prior cases
  • LinkedIn
  • Examples of social media policies
  • Ethical references & citations

Kathryn Konzen joined DTI in 2014 as a Regional Business Development Executive, and returned in 2016 after going in house with a law firm as the Director of Business Development and Litigation Technology. She is a California licensed attorney that focuses on efficient and cost effective solutions for her clients when dealing with electronic data, whether it is for a government investigation, litigation matter, or internal issue. Kathryn has presented various CLE programs on such topics as Managing ESI, Ethics in Social Media, and Ethical Issues of eDiscovery. Ross Mecham is an eDiscovery Consultant with DTI. He helps law firms and corporate legal departments understand and manage their eDiscovery needs, using technology and efficient workflows to reduce risks and costs while increasing deliverable quality. An attorney with over a decade of experience across all phases of electronic and paper discovery, his career spans state, federal, and international matters, as well as the development of internal corporate discovery practices. His prior cases include intellectual property, employment, and business tort actions, data breach and internal investigations, and regulatory requests.

This CLE course is offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers CLE for attorneys in New York and around the country. For more information about CLE in New York please click the following link: NY CLE.

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CLE on New Legal Technology Tools for Lawyers

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New technologies sprout up every day. These new technologies are changing society and the legal profession at a rapid pace. Social media discovery, cloud computing, practice management software… these new technologies have changed the way lawyers practice law and the way law firms operate. While recent innovations have helped to streamline the legal process, create new ways to work more efficiently and help law firms gain a competitive advantage, these new technologies also present novel challenges for many attorneys. 

Time to pull your head out of the sand and start practicing more efficiently by using new legal technologies!

In this timely presentation Andres Hernandez discusses how lawyers can adopt new technologies to run a more efficient law firm and be a better lawyer. The main points presented by Andres include the three pillars of law firm technology, your Internet presence, technology to run your office more efficiently and technology to make your firm & client data more secure. To access the course please click here: Top Tech Tools for Lawyers.

Andres also addresses

  • Legal websites
  • Claiming your online profiles
  • Developing your social media strategy
  • Ethical advertising
  • File storage
  • Practice management software
  • Client communications
  • The cloud
  • Security
  • Domain names
  • Data backup
  • Computer maintenance
  • Online reputation management
  • Managed IT
  • Cyber insurance
  • Clio
  • WP Engine
  • WordPress
  • AVVO
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Dropbox
  • LawPay
  • LinkedIn
  • Pipedrive
  • Lexicata
  • Zapier
  • Calendar Rules
  • NetDocuments
  • Page Vault

Andres is the co-founder and CEO of Wingman Legal Tech. He is a Marine Corps Veteran with an MS in Technology Management from National University and 10 years experience at HP working on Government contracts. Andres has been leading an effort in the legal industry to adopt cloud technologies for leaner and more efficient practice. He frequently speaks to legal groups, attorneys and bar associations in an effort to demystify law firm technology.

This CLE course is offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Missouri (MO)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers CLE for attorneys in New York and around the country. For more information about CLE in New York please click the following link: NY CLE.

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NY CLE: Ethics and Professionalism

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“Experienced” New York attorneys must complete a minimum of 24 New York CLE credit hours each two-year NY CLE reporting cycle.[1]  At least 4 of these NY CLE credit hours must be in the Ethics and Professionalism category and the remaining credit hours may be in any category of credit – Areas of Professional Practice, Skills or Law Practice Management.

NY CLE Ethics & Professionalism may include:[2]

  • The norms relating to lawyers’ professional obligations to clients
  • The norms relating to lawyers’ professional relations with prospective clients
  • The sources of lawyers’ professional obligation
  • Recognition and resolution of ethical dilemmas
  • Substance abuse control
  • Professional values

In New York, Ethics and Professionalism is a broad category and encompasses many different CLE topics – from professional values to substance abuse control. All 4 required New York Ethics & Professionalism credit hours may be completed through online and downloadable CLE courses. For more information about CLE in New York please click the following link: NY CLE.

[1] Experienced attorneys have been admitted to the New York Bar for more than 2 years.

[2] New York MCLE Rule §1500.2 Definitions

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CLE on Bankruptcy, Money Laundering & Terrorism

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Spearheaded by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), leaders and governments have sought to monitor and suppress money laundering and terrorism financing around the globe. This became even more pressing here at home after the 9/11 terror attacks. Due to our legal system and the use of anonymous entities like LLCs, the United States is an easy place to hide money and terrorists have begun using our financial and legal systems to launder dirty money and clandestinely move it around the world to finance terrorist and other illegal operations. Unfortunately for attorneys, there is a very fine line between assisting clients and crossing into criminal activity.

Dirty money gets produced by organized crime and other criminals though drug trafficking, prostitution, tax evasion, corruption, financial crime and many other sources.

Peter W. Bowie, the former Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California, has seen these matters develop first hand from his view from the bench. In this CLE course, Judge Bowie explores the evolving link between bankruptcy, money laundering & terrorist financing and the attorney’s duty to investigate. The main topics addressed by Judge Bowie include money laundering around the globe, the use of anonymous entities to hide money and the attorneys increased duty to investigate. To access this course please click here: Bankruptcy, Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing.

Additional topics presented in this CLE course:

  • The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Money Laundering’s 40 recommendations
  • The 2002 ABA Task Force
  • ABA Formal Opinion 463
  • Risk based client due diligence
  • How individuals hide money from creditors
  • The anonymous purchase of numerous high end American properties
    The 2016 GlobalWitness.org report
  • The Panama Papers
  • Confidentiality
  • Attorney-client privilege
  • Rule 11
  • Recent case law regarding attorney investigations

Peter W. Bowie, former Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California, spent 27 years on the bench. He leverages his vast experience in the courtroom to conduct mediation settlement conferences and contribute to the firm’s mediation practice. A skilled mediator, Judge Bowie has successfully resolved several vigorously contested, large fee application disputes, and other important cases. Before joining the bench, he served in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California for 14 years, the last six as Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney, overseeing operations of the criminal and civil divisions. Earlier in his career, he served as a trial attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice, where he was hired through the Department’s prestigious Honors Program.

This CLE course is offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Missouri (MO)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers CLE for attorneys in California and around the country. For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

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