Legal Ethics & Practice Management

THE INTERSECTION OF ETHICS AND LAW FIRM MANAGEMENT

The State Bar Act, the California Rules of Court, and the Rules of Professional Conduct can affect the business aspects of your law practice, in such areas as

  • Registration of Law firm LLP or PC
  • Advertising
  • Websites
  • Fee Sharing with other attorneys
  • Trust Account maintenance and recordkeeping
  • Statutory disclaimers for workers compensation and immigration cases
  • Disposing of your quantum meruit fees in your will or trust

Did you know:

  • You have to maintain an e-mail address for the State Bar to contact you.
  • MCLE audits have become more prevalent and thus more attorneys are being disciplined.
  • The Board of Trustees is mulling over trust account audits.

There are also ethical aspects to client relations, such as

  • Attorney Client fee agreements (lien clause, settlement power, costs).
  • Withdrawal from client matters.
  • Fee disputes.
  • Case file retention and destruction.
  • Interest on overdue bills, or on advanced costs.

Who has the right to the original client file? In today's electronic age, what is the "original"?

Law Firm Changes & Attorney transitions:

  • When your solo practice becomes a partnership, or when you decide to retire, certain issues arise under the laws and regulations.
  • The proper way to label lateral transfers who are not California attorneys on your website and stationery.
  • The rules governing out of state attorneys, depending upon what role they play in California.