Ethics and Client Money: Trust Funds, Expenses, Setoffs & More

course

COURSE INFO

  • Available Until 1/22/2022
  • Next Class Time 11:00 AM MT
  • Duration 60 min.
  • Format MP3 Download
  • Program Code 01222019
  • MCLE Credits 1 + hours


Course Price: $89.00

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Whenever an attorney takes money from a client – for fees billed, to cover expenses, as a retainer, or held in trust – there are substantial ethical issues involved.  Many ethical complaints arise from accusations that an attorney mishandled funds. In billing and collecting fees and expenses, there are issues about whether the fees and expenses were explained in advance and are proper in relation to services provided.  If an attorney accepts credit cards from clients, there are significant issues related to disclosure, Truth-in-Lending laws, chargebacks, pass-through of merchant processing fees, and confidentiality.  In trust funds, there are issues of segregation of funds, accounting, and more. This program will provide you with a practical guide to the many ethical issues that arise when attorneys, clients, and money mix.

  • Traps in trust fund accounting and the risks of “set-offs” of disputed amounts
  • Disclosure and documentation of trust accounting of client money
  • Retainers – use, accounting, and regular communications
  • Accepting credit card payments from clients –  pass-through processing fees, Truth-in-Lending, disclosure and confidentiality
  • Confidentiality when a client has a dispute with his credit card company – ethical tension of client duties and contractual obligations
  • Use of credit cards to fund a retainer and related trust fund accounting issues – trust funds v. operating funds

Speaker:

Thomas E. Spahn is a partner in the McLean, Virginia office of McGuireWoods, LLP, where he has a substantial practice advising clients on properly creating and preserving the attorney-client privilege and work product protections.  For more than 30 years he has lectured extensively on legal ethics and professionalism and has written “The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine: A Practitioner’s Guide,” a 750 page treatise published by the Virginia Law Foundation.  Mr. Spahn has served as a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and as a member of the Virginia State Bar's Legal Ethics Committee.  He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University and his J.D. from Yale Law School.

Elizabeth Treubert Simon is an ethics attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, where she advises on a wide range of ethics and compliance-related matters to support Akin Gump’s offices worldwide.  Previously, she practiced law in Washington DC and New York, focusing on business and commercial litigation and providing counsel to clients regarding professional ethics and attorney disciplinary procedures.  She is a member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Discipline and the District of Columbia Legal Ethics Committee.  She writes and speaks extensively on attorney ethics issues.   She received her B.A. and M.S. from the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from Albany Law School.