Training Course Syllabus:
Practical Strategies for Starting Each Case Properly
As clients become more fiscally-conscious and litigious, ethically compliant rainmaking and case selection are turning into more than a matter of integrity – they are a matter of firm survival. Don't fall into the trap of taking on “bad news” clients just to keep the case load up. This practical course offers ethical strategies for attracting the right clients and filtering out the cases that you ethically cannot or shouldn't take. Get simple tips for staying in compliance and in the black – register today!
- “You'll never regret the client you refuse:” learn when and how to say “no” to clients.
- Conflict checks have become increasingly complex with the greater lawyer mobility between firms: get a sample list of potential conflicts to make certain no steps are missed.
- Draft enforceable fee agreements with our sample documents and strategic tips.
- Get up-to-the-minute advice on attorney advertising rules and discuss the most effective approaches to marketing your legal practice.
- Understand the liability risks associated with referral fees and determine for yourself whether they're worth it.
- Ensure reasonable expectations from the start: lay out clearly what you will do and how much you will charge for it to help you prevent client dissatisfaction and stave off potential legal malpractice suits.
- Review the most common ethical missteps that may cause you to inadvertently put your license at risk and make sure you're compliant.
- SOLICITING CLIENTS – LEGAL ADVERTISING RULES AND LIMITATIONS
1:00 - 1:30, Brent W. Baldwin and Rick C. Wuestling
- Where You Can and Cannot Advertise
- What You Can and Cannot Say
- Special Considerations in Using Online Networking Sites and Directories
- Is Your Firm's Website Ethically Compliant?
- E-Mail Contact by Prospective Clients
- INITIAL CLIENT INTERVIEW
1:30 - 2:00, Brent W. Baldwin and Rick C. Wuestling
- Assessing the Case
- What Questions to Ask About the Case Facts, Parties Involved
- What Key Documents to Gather/Request
- Assessing the Client
- Ability to Pay the Legal Bills
- Troubled Dealings With Attorneys in the Past
- Current Priorities, Goals and Expectations
- Sources of Information for Client Assessment
- Referral Sources
- Potential Client
- Ensuring Reasonable Expectations
- CONFLICT OF INTEREST CHECKS
2:00 - 2:30, Brent W. Baldwin and Rick C. Wuestling
- Types of Conflicts
- Prospective vs. Current Client
- Prospective vs. Former Client
- Prospective Client vs. Current/Former Client of Attorney in Your Firm
- Impermissible Personal Relationships and Business Dealings With Prospective Clients
- Vicarious Disqualification
- Conflicts Arising When Attorneys Change Firms
- Conflicts Caused by Other People
- Special Conflict Checks for Lawyers Who are Current or Former Government Employees
- Master Checklist of Potential Conflicts
- Tips for Streamlining the Checks
- Where to Find the Relevant Rules and Case Law on a Particular Conflict
- IRON-CLAD FEE AGREEMENTS AND ENGAGEMENT LETTERS
2:45 - 3:15, Brent W. Baldwin and Rick C. Wuestling
- Identifying Your Client: Who is and IS NOT Your Client?
- How to Clearly Communicate the Scope of Representation
- Billing Methods and Their Applications
- Drafting Enforceable Fee Agreements
- Governing Rules
- Issues to Address (Including: Multiple Clients, Travel Time, Interest on the Client Trust Account, Attorneys' Liens, Credit Card Payments, Dispute Resolution Method, etc.)
- Model Fee Agreement
- Getting and Recording Client Acknowledgement/Response
- WHEN AND HOW TO ETHICALLY DECLINE REPRESENTATION
3:15 - 3:45, Brent W. Baldwin and Rick C. Wuestling
- Deciding When a Case or a Client is a “Deal Breaker” for You
- Knowing When You Must Step Down
- Communicating Your Decision to the Potential Client
- The Ethics of Referral Practices
- Referral Fees and Associated Liability Risks
- LEGAL ETHICAL DUTIES TO NON-CLIENTS
3:45 - 4:15, Brent W. Baldwin and Rick C. Wuestling