Building and maintaining a solo law practice is an enormous challenge – developing clients, managing client money, employees and technology, all in addition to the practice of law itself. It can be daunting. Because of these multiple, competing demands, solo and small firms, fairly or unfairly, tend to have the greatest number of ethical complaints lodged against them. These complaints can be distracting and damage a practice substantially. This program will provide solo practitioners with a practical guide to assessing the most likely sources of ethical complaints against solos and putting practices and systems in place to avoid complaint and liability.
Assessing ethical complaint risk for solo practitioners
Technology – how common technologies cause ethical problems in practice
Client money – trust accounting and sources of ethical complaints
Communications with clients – preventing dispute and bar complaints
Developing clients – advertising and solicitation restrictions
On your own – knowing when to refer cases outside of your areas of competency
Thomas E. Spahn is a partner in the McLean, Virginia office of McGuireWoods, LLP, where he has a broad complex commercial, business and securities litigation practice. He also has a substantial practice advising businesses on properly creating and preserving the attorney-client privilege and work product protections. For more than 20 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 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.