Best Practices – eService, Workflow, Trust Accounting and Beyond

From office system best practices to eService and advanced trust accounting – CLE offerings covered a wide array of topics this year. If you missed a program, don’t despair. Video and audio recordings are available to download from my online store.  Here are the details:

Best Practices for Client Intake, Engagement & Workflow
OSB Program No.: 6724*9 (1.0 PS/general MCLE credits)

Recognizing the objectives and ethical traps of client intake, implementing the 7 key elements of intake forms, automating intake with ease, documenting representation, modernizing the engagement process using forms, brochures, automation, and eSignatures, using technology and staffing to improve workflow, and more.

Best Practices for Docketing, Conflicts, Disengagement & File Retention
OSB Program No.: 6724*10 (1.0 PS/general MCLE credits)

Represent clients effectively and ethically by applying best practice recommendations for docketing, conflicts, disengagement, and file retention. Includes docketing tips for eCourt practitioners, streamlining conflict checking, limiting liability exposure through proper disengagement, simplifying disengagement, and creating file retention policies, procedures, and checklists.

Oregon eService
OSB Program No.: 6724*11 (1.25 PS/general MCLE credits)

For experts and novices alike – an opportunity to polish eService/eCourt skills and apply tips straight from the courthouse – or understand eService from the ground up. Includes how to eServe in four easy steps, six compelling reasons to use eService, identifying eService exceptions, responding to service contact issues, pursuing sanctions under UTCR 1.090(2), eService vs. service by email, courthouse dos and don’ts, and proper Certificates of Service.

Trust Accounting Fundamentals
OSB Program No.: 6724*12 (1.5 ethics MCLE credits)

From managing bank charges and avoiding impermissible cushions to reporting overdrafts and addressing client fee disputes – this program will provide a fundamental understanding of how to operate your lawyer trust account.

Advanced Trust Accounting
OSB Program No.: 6724*13 – 1.25 ethics MCLE credits

Delve deeper into the more advanced issues of trust accounting, including how to safely manage wire and EFT transfers, using layaway payment plans, collecting “first and last month’s rent,” managing evergreen retainers and hybrid fee agreements, receiving third party payments, bartering legal services, passing on credit card transaction fees, what to do with unclaimed funds, responding to garnishments and liens, how to disburse settlement proceeds if your client is missing, and more.

Your on demand CLE purchase includes

  • MP4 download (combined audio and video file)
  • M4a download (audio only)
  • Written program materials, including presentation slides and resources
  • Answers to polling questions asked during the live CLE
  • MCLE Form 6 for self-reporting of MCLE credits

Instant digital delivery with options to save to the cloud or your mobile device

Links to digital files are delivered instantly at checkout with your purchase confirmation email.  Download, stream, save to your Dropbox account, or send files to your mobile device or desktop computer.

Free eBook!

If you visit my online store, be sure to download your free copy of Tips for Improving Client Relationships.

Secure payment processing

All transactions are handled by Selz and protected with industry standard security, including encryption and SSL secure. The Selz platform is also PCI compliant. Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover accepted.

All Rights Reserved 2018 Beverly Michaelis

Best Practices for Docketing, Conflicts, Disengagement, and File Retention

This is the last call for Best Practices for Docketing, Conflicts, Disengagement, and File Retention scheduled for April 11, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., PDT. This live, online webinar is the second in a two-part series on effective and ethical office systems.
Topics include:

Docketing

  • Learning the attributes of effective docketing systems
  • Appreciating the duty of due diligence
  • Docketing tips for eCourt practitioners: knowing where to go, forwarding notices, calculating deadlines, understanding the Register of Actions, enlisting proper email management

Conflicts

  • Recognizing ethical traps
  • Establishing system objectives: who to screen and when to screen
  • Comparing software applications
  • Streamlining conflict checking using forms, checklists, procedures, and letters
  • Recording conflict results

Disengagement and file retention

  • Meeting your ethical obligations under Oregon RPC 1.16
  • Simplifying disengagement with forms
  • Protecting clients and limiting liability exposure
  • Creating policies, procedures, and checklists
  • Accessing resources

Register Now
$25 – Visit the Upcoming CLE page or choose the registration link below. Secure payment processing powered by Eventbrite. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Program materials included in the registration price.

REGISTER NOW
Best Practices for Docketing, Conflicts, Disengagement, and File Retention

 FAQs

Are group discounts available?
Discounts are available to firms who register 5 or more attendees. Contact me for a discount code before you register beverly@oregonlawpracticemanagement.org.

Do the Programs Include Written Materials? 
Yes. Written materials are distributed electronically to attendees.

Are questions welcome?
Absolutely. Questions may be submitted any time during the live event or afterward via email. Attendees are also encouraged to participate in live, anonymous polling.

Where are the programs being held?
This program will be a live, online webinar.

MCLE Credits
1.0 practical skills pending.

Can’t Attend?
Video and audio recordings of the April 11 CLE will be available to download along with the program materials shortly after the live program event.
Price: $25. Contact me or visit my online CLE store to place an order.

Best Practices for Client Intake, Engagement, and Workflow

This is the last call for Best Practices for Client Intake, Engagement, and Workflow scheduled for March 28, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., PDT. This live, online webinar is the first of a two-part series on effective and ethical office systems.
Topics include:

Intake

  • Recognizing objectives and ethical traps
  • Implementing the 7 key elements of effective intake forms
  • Building in accountability to prevent mistakes
  • Automating intake with ease

Engagement

  • Documenting representation: why bother?
  • Appreciating the ethical implications of engagement vs. nonengagement
  • Finding alternatives when a nonengagement letter can’t be sent
  • Modernizing the engagement process using forms, brochures, automation, and eSignatures

workflow

  • Identifying barriers to improving productivity: what’s stopping us?
  • Exploring the connection between bar complaints and poor workflow management
  • Setting objectives using automation, integration, and delegation
  • Using technology and staffing to improve workflow

Your office systems are the backbone of everything you do. Don’t miss out!

Register Now
$25 – Visit the Upcoming CLE page or choose the registration link below. Secure payment processing powered by Eventbrite. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Program materials included in the registration price.

REGISTER NOW
Best Practices for Client Intake, Engagement, and Workflow

Coming April 11, 2018 –
Best Practices for Docketing, Conflicts, Disengagement, and File Retention

In this second part of our two-part series, we will cover:

Docketing

  • Learning the attributes of effective docketing systems
  • Appreciating the duty of due diligence
  • Docketing tips for eCourt practitioners: knowing where to go, forwarding notices, calculating deadlines, understanding the Register of Actions, enlisting proper email management

Conflicts

  • Recognizing ethical traps
  • Establishing system objectives: who to screen and when to screen
  • Comparing software applications
  • Streamlining conflict checking using forms, checklists, procedures, and letters
  • Recording conflict results

Disengagement and file retention

  • Meeting your ethical obligations under Oregon RPC 1.16
  • Simplifying disengagement with forms
  • Protecting clients and limiting liability exposure
  • Creating policies, procedures, and checklists
  • Accessing resources

This program is scheduled for Wednesday, April 11 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., PDT.

Register Now
$25 – Visit the Upcoming CLE page or choose the registration link below. Secure payment processing powered by Eventbrite. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Program materials included in the registration price.

REGISTER NOW
Best Practices for Docketing, Conflicts, Disengagement, and File Retention

 FAQs

Are group discounts available?
Discounts are available to firms who register 5 or more attendees. Contact me for a discount code before you register beverly@oregonlawpracticemanagement.org.

Do the Programs Include Written Materials? 
Yes. Written materials are distributed electronically to attendees.

Are questions welcome?
Absolutely. Questions may be submitted any time during the live event or afterward via email. Attendees are also encouraged to participate in live, anonymous polling.

Where are the programs being held?
Both programs are live, online webinars.

MCLE Credits
1.0 practical skills pending for each program.

Can’t Attend?
Video and audio recordings of the March 28 and April 11 CLEs will be available to download along with the program materials shortly after the live program events.
Price: $25. Contact me or visit my online CLE store to place an order.

Ethics News: Dual Representation in Estate Planning and Disqualification of Judges

Yesterday we received the news that two new ethics opinions were adopted by the BOG at its February 23 meeting.

The proposed opinions are listed on the agenda as:

  • Proposed OSB Formal Op No 2018-XX Representing Husband and Wife in Preparation of Estate Plan Involving Waiver of Elective Share; and
  • Proposed OSB Formal Op No 2018-XX Disqualification of Judges

Here are some key excerpts:

Husband and Wife Representation in Estate Plan Involving
Waiver of Elective Share

No conflict exists where lawyer provides general information to clients

Providing general information about the elective share does not create a significant risk that Lawyer’s responsibility to one client will be materially impaired by his responsibilities to the other.

If waiver benefits one client more than the other, dual representation is perilous at best and most likely a conflict

Were Lawyer to represent both spouses with respect to an agreement to waive the elective share, Lawyer would be literally representing both sides of an agreement likely to benefit one client more than the other. Such conflict may be waivable in limited circumstances, but it is perilous…. [The] more important the elective share appears to be to either spouse, the less likely the conflict is to be waivable, and vice versa.

Confidentiality and attorney-client privilege weight heavily in determining whether dual representation is available

Comment 30 to ABA Model Rule 1.7 notes that “[a] particularly important factor in determining the appropriateness of common representation is the effect on client-lawyer confidentiality.” Attorney-client privilege is typically waived among clients who are jointly represented. OEC 503(4)(e). Such lack of confidentiality may make it difficult for Lawyer to explore whether one spouse has concerns about waiving the elective share, since that spouse may be reluctant to fully share those concerns with the other spouse. That, in turn, impairs Lawyer’s ability to fully advise each spouse.

Later invalidity of the dual representation may affect the estate plan

In addition to potentially impairing the lawyer’s ability to represent the spouse who might object to waiving the elective share, the conflict also creates risk for the other spouse. A spouse may make certain estate planning decisions based on what he or she believes to be other spouse’s waiver of the elective share. A later finding that the waiver was invalid, due to the attorney’s conflictive representation, would likely frustrate the decedent’s estate plan that counted on that waiver of elective share.

My two cents

The dual representation scenario laid out by this opinion is one of those situations where it may be possible to go forward with informed consent confirmed in writing, but – and its an awfully big but – it isn’t smart from a malpractice avoidance point-of-view. This is a thoughtful opinion that takes the time to spell out the many ways that husband-wife representation can go awry. What starts out friendly takes a turn. And as the opinion states, if consent to the dual representation is later invalidated, then what? That elephant in the room you’re sensing is a legal malpractice claim.

Disqualification of Judges

Whether a lawyer has proper grounds for affidaviting a judge is largely a matter of subjective inquiry, so long as the lawyer’s statements are true

Oregon RPCs 3.3(a)(1), 8.2(a), and 8.4(a)(3)-(4) prohibit lawyers from making any false statements in an affidavit for change of judge.The critical issue, therefore, is whether Lawyer can truthfully state in an affidavit under ORS 14.260 that: (1) Lawyer believes Defendant or Lawyer cannot receive a fair and impartial trial or hearing before Judge X; and (2) Lawyer is filing the disqualification motion in “good faith and not for the purpose of delay.” As far as the Oregon RPCs are concerned, these are subjective inquiries.

Lawyer can only consider impact of a motion to disqualify on lawyer’s own credibility and reputation to the extent it may impact lawyer’s representation of the client

Lawyer must evaluate whether to file an affidavit for change of judge on a case-by-case basis, without regard to lawyer’s personal interests or the interests of others. Lawyer may consider only the impact that seeking disqualification of Judge X could have on Defendant’s case. Lawyer may not consider the effect, if any, that seeking Judge X’s disqualification could have on Lawyer’s own practice, or on Lawyer’s other current or future clients or cases.This is not to say that Lawyer may never consider the potential impact a disqualification motion would have on Lawyer’s own credibility, reputation, or relationship with Judge X or other judges in ABC County. Lawyer may ethically consider such factors to the extent Lawyer believes they could impact Lawyer’s representation of Defendant.

Lawyers must reasonably consult with clients regarding motions to disqualify

Lawyer has a duty under Oregon RPC 1.2 and 1.4 to reasonably consult with Defendant about that decision. In doing so, Lawyer must disclose sufficient information for Defendant to intelligently participate in a discussion about whether to file an affidavit for change of judge.In some situations, however, a lawyer may need to decide about filing an affidavit for change of judge without any reasonable opportunity to consult with the client beforehand—such as when the lawyer faces an impending deadline or when applicable rules or substantive law requires the lawyer to either file the affidavit immediately or risk waiver.

Lawyers are ethically permitted to make the final decision about seeking disqualification

[The] lawyer is ethically permitted to make the final decision as to whether to seek disqualification, even over his or her client’s objection, provided the lawyer has adequately consulted with the client, as discussed above.

As yet, the opinions have not been formally published on the OSB website.

All Rights Reserved 2018 Beverly Michaelis

CLE Series: Best Practices for Effective and Ethical Office Systems

Your office systems are the backbone of everything you do. Join me for CLEs on Wednesday, March 28, 2018 and April 11, 2018 and learn how to implement best practices for client intake, engagement, workflow, docketing, conflicts, disengagement, and file retention.

Register Now
$25 – Visit the Upcoming CLE page or choose one of the registration links below. Secure payment processing powered by Eventbrite. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express accepted. Program materials included in the registration price.

REGISTER NOW
Best Practices for Client Intake, Engagement, and Workflow

REGISTER NOW
Best Practices for Docketing, Conflicts, Disengagement, and File Retention

Location
Both programs are live, online webinars.

Who Should Attend?
Lawyers, office administrators, or staff – anyone interested in improving office systems.

Program Details
Best Practices for Client Intake, Engagement, and Workflow
March 28, 2018 CLE – 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific

Intake

  • Recognizing objectives and ethical traps
  • Implementing the 7 key elements of effective intake forms
  • Building in accountability to prevent mistakes
  • Automating intake with ease

Engagement

  • Documenting representation: why bother?
  • Appreciating the ethical implications of engagement vs. nonengagement
  • Finding alternatives when a nonengagement letter can’t be sent
  • Modernizing the engagement process using forms, brochures, automation, and eSignatures

workflow

  • Identifying barriers to improving productivity: what’s stopping us?
  • Exploring the connection between bar complaints and poor workflow management
  • Setting objectives using automation, integration, and delegation
  • Using technology and staffing to improve workflow

Best Practices for Docketing, Conflicts, Disengagement, and File Retention
April 11, 2018 CLE – 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Pacific

Docketing

  • Learning the attributes of effective docketing systems
  • Appreciating the duty of due diligence
  • Docketing tips for eCourt practitioners: knowing where to go, forwarding notices, calculating deadlines, understanding the Register of Actions, enlisting proper email management

Conflicts

  • Recognizing ethical traps
  • Establishing system objectives: who to screen and when to screen
  • Comparing software applications
  • Streamlining conflict checking using forms, checklists, procedures, and letters
  • Recording conflict results

Disengagement and file retention

  • Meeting your ethical obligations under Oregon RPC 1.16
  • Simplifying disengagement with forms
  • Protecting clients and limiting liability exposure
  • Creating policies, procedures, and checklists
  • Accessing resources

FAQs

Are group discounts available?
Discounts are available to firms who register 5 or more attendees. Contact me for a discount code before you register beverly@oregonlawpracticemanagement.org.

Do the Programs Include Written Materials? 
Yes. Written materials are distributed electronically to attendees.

Are questions welcome?
Absolutely. Questions may be submitted any time during the live event or afterward via email. Attendees are also encouraged to participate in live, anonymous polling.

MCLE Credits
1.0 practical skills pending for each program.

Can’t Attend?
Video and audio recordings of the March 28 and April 11 CLEs will be available to download along with the program materials shortly after the live program events.
Price: $25. Contact me or visit my online CLE store to place an order.