Category Archives: Ethics & Professionalism

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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CLE Course on Attorney Workplace Investigations

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A thorough, effective and ethical internal investigation of an employee workplace complaint can help a company to avoid costly and protracted litigation, and form the foundation for a successful defense in the event that a lawsuit is eventually filed. Unfortunately, missteps are common in internal investigations and these mistakes can expose an employer to costly liability.

Workplace Investigations

Increasingly more employers are finding themselves facing the need to conduct internal workplace investigations as employee retaliation claims soar and the EEOC continues to focus on discrimination complaints.

In this CLE course, attorney & workplace investigator Amy Oppenheimer walks you through the best practices when conducting workplace investigations. She also focuses on how attorneys can recognize and avoid implicit bias and other biases when conducting workplace investigations. To access the course please click here: Attorneys Conducting Workplace Investigations.

Best practices and topics covered:

  • Reasons to conduct an internal investigation
  • The decision to conduct an investigation
  • The choice of investigators
  • Defining the scope of the investigation
  • Investigation planning
  • Communicating with representatives of the employer
  • Confidentiality & privacy
  • Evidence gathering & retention
  • Witness interviews
  • Investigation findings
  • Reports
  • Bias in the workplace
  • Bias in investigations
  • The impacts of investigations

Amy Oppenheimer is an attorney and retired Administrative Law Judge with over thirty years of experience in the field of employment law.[1] Ms. Oppenheimer has trained lawyers, human resource professionals, employees, and employers throughout the country in preventing and investigating workplace harassment, discrimination and retaliation, implicit bias and diversity in the workplace. She is the founder and president of the board of AWI (Association of Workplace Investigators, Inc.) and is an advisor to the executive committee of the labor and employment section of the California State Bar. She is a trial qualified expert on the issue of employment practices in preventing, responding to and investigating workplace harassment or discrimination.

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 Illinois and around the country. For more information about CLE in Illinois please click the following link: IL CLE.

[1] Emphasizing preventing and responding to workplace harassment and discrimination.

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NY CLE: Online CLE for Newly Admitted Attorneys

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Newly admitted attorneys in New York have special CLE requirements.[1] Newly admitted NY attorneys must complete at least 16 transitional CLE credit hours in each of the first two years of admission to the New York State Bar. The requirements are shown on the chart below.

Newly Admitted NY CLE Requirement[2]

  • Sixteen (16) accredited hours
  • Completed in EACH of the first two (2) years of admission
    • 3 hours of ethics & professionalism
    • 6 hours of skills
    • 7 hours of law practice management and/or areas of professional practice

Newly admitted New York attorneys may NOW complete 14 of the required 32 credit hours by completing by completing on-demand computer based CLE programs.[3] For more information about New York CLE please click here: NY CLE.

[1] Under the New York CLE Rules, attorneys admitted to the New York State Bar for two (2) years or less are considered newly admitted attorneys.

[2] The first set of 16 transitional NY CLE credit hours must be completed by the first anniversary of admission to the New York State Bar Association, in the designated categories of credit. The second set of 16 transitional hours must be completed between the first and second anniversaries of admission to the NY State Bar.

[3] (In the required areas of Law Practice Management & Areas of Professional Practice.

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CLE Course on Legal Ethics and Evolving Technology

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Are you required to keep hard copies of all your blog posts? Can you ethically post the big verdict from your trial on your website? Can you counsel clients to remove embarrassing photos from their Facebook page two weeks before trial? What if your friend endorses you for Maritime Law on LinkedIn… but you’re a family law attorney?

Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram… every new day seems to bring a new social media website and a new electronic fad. How can attorneys harness these new technologies in their legal practice without running afoul of the ethical rules?

It is now your ethical duty to be competent when using new digital technologies. Email and Facebook are not going away – they are now a part of your legal practice. However, as these new technologies evolve so rapidly, the ethics rules struggle to keep up. In this CLE course, attorney Ed McIntyre provides a practical discussion of your evolving ethical duties in light of emerging technologies. The main ethical issues discussed include: communicating electronically with clients, the ethics of cybersleuthing and counseling clients to delete information from social media accounts. To access the course please click here: What Me Worry? Professional Responsibility, Evolving Technology and Why I Might.

Additional subjects covered in this legal ethics course:

  • The ABA Model Rules
  • California Rules of Professional Conduct
  • The Duty of Competence
  • The Duty of Confidentiality
  • The Duty of Communication
  • The legal advertising rules
  • Ethical issues associated with websites
  • Blogs & twitter
  • Disclaimers
  • Confidentiality & social media
  • Website submissions & the attorney-client relationship
  • Friending parties & individuals involved in litigation
  • The no contact rule
  • Suppression of evidence
  • The ethics of LinkedIn endorsements

A veteran trial attorney, Edward J. McIntyre practices complex business litigation in federal and state courts. An expert on the topic of professional responsibility, he also now advises and represents attorneys on issues of professional responsibility, risk mitigation and professional negligence issues. He testifies as an expert witness in court, writes a monthly column on professional responsibility in the San Diego Lawyer Magazine and frequently lectures on this topic. He is also a member and chair of the San Diego County Bar Association Legal Ethics Committee and received the 2013 Top Lawyers of San Diego distinction.

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 California and around the country. For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

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CLE Course on Conflicts of Interest in an Increasingly Complex World

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In our increasingly complex and intertwined legal and business world, ethically navigating through the conflicts of interest rules can give you headaches and leave you confused and befuddled. Unfortunately, failing to spot or address a potential conflict of interest could even lead to disqualification, disgorgement… or even a malpractice lawsuit.

Attorneys who believe that violations of ethics rules may only be used against them in a disciplinary proceeding are, unfortunately, mistaken. Among the courts that have addressed this issue, the overwhelming majority have held that evidence of an ethics violation is admissible in an action for breach of fiduciary duty or professional negligence.

To learn more about the practical application of the conflicts of interest rules, join attorney Edward J. McIntyre as he shows you how to approach and analyze conflicts of interest by highlighting key ethical issues from a series of recent case examples. The main topics that Mr. McIntyre covers includes ethics & risk mitigation, conflicts between current clients, conflicts in successive representation, conflicts based on an attorney’s personal interests and conflicts based on the receipt of confidential information outside of the attorney-client relationship. To access the course please click here: What Me Worry? Conflicts of Interest in a Multijurisdictional and Increasingly Complex World.

Further topics discussed include:

  • The ABA Conflicts of Interest Rules
  • Model Rules 1.7
  • Model Rule 1.9
  • Model Rule 1.18
  • California Rule of Professional Conduct 3-310
  • Actual vs. potential conflicts
  • Where conflicts arise
  • The standard of care
  • Breach of fiduciary duty
  • The duty of loyalty
  • Conflict checks & advance waivers
  • Informed written consent & written disclosure
  • Possible consequences of rules violations
  • Disqualification vs. discipline
  • Conflicts-check systems
  • Joint/dual representation

A veteran trial attorney, Edward J. McIntyre practices complex business litigation in federal and state courts. An expert on the topic of professional responsibility, he now focuses on advising and representing attorneys on issues of professional responsibility, risk mitigation and professional negligence issues. He testifies as an expert witness in court, writes a monthly column on professional responsibility in the San Diego Lawyer Magazine and frequently lectures on this topic. He is also a member and chair of the San Diego County Bar Association Legal Ethics Committee and received the 2013 Top Lawyers of San Diego distinction.

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 Course: Ethical Traps for the Unwary

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How well do you know the California Rules of Professional Conduct (CRPC), the Business & Professions Code (B&PC) and the State Bar Act? Do you know them well enough to avoid lurking ethical traps?

Lawyers & Ethics

Unfortunately, many lawyers think that the MPRE is the last time they need to study ethics rules and quite a few attorneys have little or no familiarity with the rules of the ethical road in California.

There are many traps for the unwary hiding within those ethical rules – traps that could lead to a malpractice violation or even state bar discipline and disbarment. Join David Carr as he discusses the source of ethical rules in California and ethics traps you need to avoid. To access the course click here: Ethical Traps for the Unwary.

The main topics presented and discussed by Mr. Carr include:

  • Failing to account for client funds
  • Accounting for unearned advanced fees
  • Accepting fees from third parties without client consent
  • Failing to disclose a lack of malpractice insurance
  • Settling a legal malpractice claim without advice to seek counsel
  • Failing to maintain membership address
  • Seeking agreement to withdraw or not make a state bar complaint
  • Candor toward tribunal
  • Moral turpitude through gross negligence

David Cameron Carr is Senior Counsel in the Legal Ethics and Law Firm Practice Group of Klinedinst PC. Mr. Carr specializes in legal ethics and the law of lawyering, including discipline defense, bar admissions, attorney fee disputes, legal malpractice, attorney professional responsibility and ethics advice. Mr. Carr graduated from Loyola Law School in 1986 and was admitted to the California Bar that year. After practicing in business litigation and commercial law, Mr. Carr spent 12 years as staff attorney, discipline prosecutor and manager at the State Bar of California, before returning to private practice in 2001 and then joining Klinedinst PC in 2016. Mr. Carr is an active member of the San Diego County Bar Association, where he serves on the Legal Ethics Committee.

This CLE course is currently offered in the following states:

  • California (CA)

For more information about the CA MCLE requirement please click the following link: CA CLE.

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CLE Course: Substance Abuse & the Legal Profession

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Untreated addictions can seriously affect an attorney’s competence to practice law. Substance abuse and addiction can lead to late filings, missed court appearances, client defaults, poorly drafted pleadings, inappropriate settlements, local & state bar suspension, legal sanctions, restrictions & probation, unpaid dues & bills, disbarment, cancelled malpractice insurance and malpractice lawsuits against the lawyer and his or her client.

Substance Abuse & Attorneys

Substance abuse is the dirty little secret of the legal profession. The long hours, conflict and pressure of the profession leads some attorneys to abuse drugs and alcohol to cope with the stress of the profession.

In this substance abuse course, Commissioner K. Riley provides her unique perspective on alcohol and drug abuse amongst attorneys. The main topics covered by Commissioner Riley include substance abuse & attorneys, the addiction disease model, the physiology of alcoholism, competence & substance abuse, where to get help, the Other Bar, the Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) and 12 step programs. To access this substance abuse course please click here: Substance Abuse & the Legal Profession.

Additional subjects in this Substance Abuse CLE course:

  • Why attorneys are at such a high risk
  • Lawyer defense skills
  • Neurochemistry
  • The Duty of Competence
  • The ABA Model Rules
  • Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Intervention
  • Relapse
  • Maintaining sobriety
  • Triggers
  • Getting help for attorneys
  • Legal discipline & getting help
  • The cost of discipline
  • Peer support groups
  • The Other Bar
  • AA
  • Additional resources for attorneys

Commissioner K. Riley has worked for the San Diego Superior Court system since 1992. Before she began working for the court system, Commissioner Riley was in private practice for over ten years. Because of her unique perspective, Commissioner Riley is frequently called on by bar associations and legal groups to speak about the plight of substance abuse in the legal profession.

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 continuing legal education (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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CLE on Substance Abuse, Depression & Competence

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Substance abuse and depression are two of the main contributors that affect an attorney’s competence to practice law. Substance abuse and depression also lead to high rates of suicide amongst lawyers. Attorneys are nearly twice as likely to have problems with drugs & alcohol and are nearly four times more likely to suffer from depression when compared to the general population. In fact, the depression rate in the legal profession is the highest amongst all professions and over 50% of all discipline cases involve an underlying substance abuse issue.

The leading cause of premature death among attorneys:

  • It’s not heart attacks or car accidents.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of premature death for lawyers

In this course, Richard P. Carlton discusses the connection between substance abuse, depression and your competence to practice law. The main topics discussed include the law as a high-risk profession, substance abuse & depression disorders, personality traits of attorneys, ways to cope with the stress & the mental challenges of the legal profession and managing client expectations. To access the course please click here: An Attorney’s Duty: Competence & Substance Abuse.

Further issues presented and discussed in this CLE course:

  • Brain chemistry
  • Depression
  • Traits of pre-law students
  • The effects of law school
  • Lawyers as pessimists
  • Thinking like a lawyer
  • Resources & assistance for attorneys
  • The stress response
  • Negativity bias
  • Fear & negativity
  • Mindfulness
  • The pace of life for attorneys
  • Time shifting
  • Mindfulness
  • Hardwiring happiness
  • Resources & assistance

Richard P. Carlton, MPH, is currently the Acting Director of the Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) of the State Bar of California. He has been addressing mental health and disability concerns in the legal profession for over twenty-five years and he frequently delivers continuing legal education (CLE) presentations on addressing substance abuse and managing stress to bar associations, State Bar sections and law firms throughout California. In addition to his work with the LAP program of the State Bar of California he is also a consultant to the U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit, the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and the Idaho Judicial Branch on matters of judicial stress and wellness.

This CLE course is currently 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 Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in Illinois and around the country. For more information about CLE in Illinois please click the following link: IL CLE.

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Show Me The Money! Ethics of Trust Accounting CLE

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If you are like me, one of the first things you do while perusing your state bar journal or website is to flip quickly to the back and the scan the discipline pages. There is something that fascinates me about the stories of those attorneys that were unfortunate enough to get a public censure… or even disbarment in the most extreme circumstances. And it seems that almost every time an attorney gets disbarred it’s because they committed serious ethical violations when handling their client’s money.

The mishandling of client funds is a top complaint in both legal malpractice cases and State Bar proceedings.

Heather Rosing presents this course because attorneys continue to (intentionally or unintentionally) mishandle client funds. In this course, Ms. Rossing will show you how to ethically deposit, account for and disburse client funds so that you can properly navigate and comply with the complex & technical rules of client trust accounting so you can avoid a legal malpractice claims and State Bar discipline. While Ms. Rosing mainly bases her discussion on the ethics rules and opinions of California, the strategies and tips that she provides will benefit attorneys around the country. To access the course click here: Show Me The Money: Ethical Client Trust Accounting.

Subjects covered in this ethics CLE course:

  • Ethical rules & resources
  • State bar findings on trust accounts violations
  • Preserving the identity of funds & the property of the client
  • Ethically handling papers, property & fees when terminating the representation
  • IOLTA vs. Non-IOLTA trusts
  • Helpful ethics opinions
  • Co-mingling funds
  • The receipt & clearance of funds
  • Advancing costs & fees
  • Credit cards
  • Non-client funds
  • Loans from trust
  • Fee disputes
  • Trust as escrow or “holding account”
  • Trust account scams

The former President of the San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA), Heather L. Rosing is the Chairperson of the Professional Liability Department overseeing a team of Klinedinst lawyers across the state of California in the defense of professionals such as lawyers and accountants. She has developed a nationwide reputation for her experience & skill in litigating complex malpractice and fraud cases; in delivering sound advice in the areas of ethics & risk management; and in defending lawyers, accountants, and judges in disciplinary matters. Ms. Rosing also serves as a consultant & expert witness in the areas of privileges, fee disputes, professional responsibility and attorney duties.

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 continuing legal education (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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