Free Law Practice Transition CLE

On November 1, the Oregon State Bar is offering a FREE Law Practice Transition CLE for lawyers who are interested in buying or selling a law practice.  Here is the announcement:

The legal profession is undergoing a demographic shift as baby boomers retire in large numbers and a steady stream of law school grads enter the marketplace. In the meantime, the ratio of new lawyers to entry-level positions has caused many new lawyers to hang out their own shingle when they don’t find employment elsewhere.

To address this issue, a free CLE will be held on Friday, November 1, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at the bar center in Tigard, with a social/networking hour hosted by LawPay immediately following. “Law Practice Transitions: Buying, Selling, or Transferring a Law Practice” is the first in a new series of seminars designed to help lawyers looking to move into our out of an existing practice.

Whether you want to sell or you are looking to start a career (without starting from scratch), this CLE will give you valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to transition planning. Plus, all attendees will receive a coupon code to post a practice for sale on the bar’s online Career Center for FREE!

Thanks to LawPay for graciously hosting the social/networking event immediately following the CLE.

Special thanks to the Oregon New Lawyers Division and the Sole and Small Firm Practice Section for the assistance with this program.

 

Telephone Scam Hits Washington Lawyers

The Oregon State Bar is warning lawyers of a telephone scam underway now in Washington:

Scam Alert
OSB members:  The Washington State Bar Association is warning its members about a telephone scam in which callers claiming to represent the bar are asking its members for personal information. These calls are not from the WSBA. Although we have no reports of similar calls in Oregon at this time, it has happened in the past and could recur. If you receive such a call do not reveal any personal information.

Posted on the OSB home page August 12, 2013.

Proposed Changes to Advertising and Solicitation Rules Give Your 2 Cents

untitledThe Oregon State Bar is currently soliciting comments regarding proposed amendments to Oregon RPCs 7.1-7.5 governing advertising and solicitation.  Comments should be submitted in writing to the Legal Ethics Committee in care of
OSB General Counsel Helen Hierschbiel at hhierschbiel@osbar.org by August 9.

A summary of the proposed changes can be found here, along with background information. For a side-by-side comparison of the old rules vs. new rules, see this chart.

LawPay Discount through Oregon State Bar

In a monumental break in tradition, the Oregon State Bar is currently promoting a member discount for LawPay credit card processing through the month of July.  Here are the details as posted on the OSB Web site:

It is critical for attorneys to handle transactions between their trust and operating accounts correctly. With LawPay, law firms can accept credit cards with confidence, because a LawPay account is structured to handle the unique requirements of a lawyer’s obligations regarding client funds. As a result, LawPay is offered by 37 state and 49 local bar associations, including the Oregon State Bar. Oregon attorneys who use LawPay will receive reduced processing rates, multiple features for the client-attorney transaction, and a level of personalized service not easily found elsewhere. The LawPay contract is month-to-month and all standard fees associated with opening a merchant account are waived for OSB members. With discounted fees, users can save up to 25% off standard credit and debit card fees. Plus, if you open a LawPay Merchant Account in the month of July 2013, we will waive the standard $150 virtual terminal fee and also waive the program fee for three months.

Historically the Oregon State Bar shied away from membership discount programs.  Perhaps the partnership with LawPay will be the first of many…

Are You Using the New Model Contingent Fee Agreement Explanation?

Effective January 1, 2013, Oregon RPC 1.8(e) was amended to follow the corresponding ABA Model Rule.  Lawyers are now expressly allowed to provide financial assistance in the form of advancing court costs and expenses of litigation, the repayment of which may be contingent on the outcome of the matter.  Lawyers are also permitted to pay court costs and expenses on behalf of indigent clients.

Before the change, lawyers were required to state in their fee agreements that clients remained responsible for the costs and expenses of litigation regardless of the outcome of the case.  The Oregon State Bar approved Model Explanation of Contingent Fee Agreement – derived from ORS 20.340 – mirrored this requirement.

With the amendment to Oregon RPC 1.8(e), the Oregon State Bar revised the Model Explanation to allow for three alternatives that a lawyer may choose in undertaking representation of a contingent fee case:

  1. The client repays the costs regardless of the outcome of the matter;
  2. The client repays the costs only if the lawyer recovers money for the client; or
  3. The client does not repay the costs regardless of the outcome of the case.

 [See Item 7A of the February 22, 2013 BOG Agenda.]

The new Model Explanation, with an effective date of February 22, 2013, is available on the PLF Web site > Practice Aids and Forms > Engagement Letters and is attached to our sample PLF Contingent Fee Agreements.  The new Model Explanation may also be found on the Oregon State Bar Web site and will be added to the Fee Agreement Compendium in BarBooks. Here is a direct link:

Oregon State Bar Model Explanation of Contingent Fee Agreement

All Rights Reserved 2013 Beverly Michaelis