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

course

PROGRAM INFO

  • Presentation Date 1/30/2023
  • Class Time 12:00 PM CT
  • Duration 60 min.
  • Format Webcast
  • Program Code 13156-86832
  • Ethics Credits: 1.00 hr(s)

Price: $85.00


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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.

 

Disclaimer:  All views or opinions expressed by any presenter during the course of this CLE is that of the presenter alone and not an opinion of the Oklahoma Bar Association, the employers, or affiliates of the presenters unless specifically stated. Additionally, any materials, including the legal research, are the product of the individual contributor, not the Oklahoma Bar Association. The Oklahoma Bar Association makes no warranty, express or implied, relating to the accuracy or content of these materials.