2014 State Bar of Arizona Convention brochure cover hires_optHere is another post that lets Convention seminar chairs speak for themselves. In advance of the Bar Convention, I contacted seminar chairs seeking their response to four questions about their upcoming panel. Here are the questions I sent:

  • Who should attend this seminar?
  • What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?
  • How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)
  • What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Last evening, I shared the responses of those whose seminars are calendared for the morning of Thursday, June 12. (Note: Not all seminar chairs responded.) Click on the seminar title to read more detail as published in the Convention brochure.

What follows are the seminar responses I received for the Thursday afternoon programs.

Thursday, June 12, 2:00 pm

T-24: What Every Lawyer Should Know About the Client Protection Fund

Chair: Chas Wirken, Gust Rosenfeld

Who should attend this seminar?

Chas Wirken

Chas Wirken

Lawyers who represent individuals.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

A reminder that the Client Protection Fund is available to reimburse clients harmed by dishonest lawyers.

How is this seminar timely?

It will start and end on time. Seriously, dishonest lawyers are victimizing clients more often.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Which claimants and what claims are eligible for reimbursement.

Thursday, June 12, 2:00 pm

T-25: Go Green. Save Green.

Chair: Sharon W. Ng,Stinson Leonard Street LLP

Who should attend this seminar?

Sharon Ng

Sharon Ng

Any individual will find this seminar rewarding who is (i) interested in learning how to make his or her workplace more environmentally-friendly and/or (ii) would like to hear both non-lawyers and lawyers engage in a discussion regarding his or her respective sustainability efforts.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

The participant will gain valuable insight on how to integrate sustainability into his or her practice and the cost-saving benefits of the same.

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

Not only will the participant learn how to weave sustainability into his or her practice, but the suggestions the seminar will address will also touch upon a more mobile and less-paper reliant practice, which is becoming more common in the legal world.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

Sustainability does not require significant changes to a lawyer’s practice; it’s accessible and worth it.

Thursday, June 12, 2:00 pm

T-27: Elder Law and Special Needs Planning; Post-DOMA Planning

Co-Chair: Mark Theut, Theut, Theut & Theut PC

Who should attend this seminar?

Estate planners, attorneys who represent guardians and/or conservators and/or fiduciaries, attorneys who probate estates, fiduciaries and paralegals.

How is this seminar timely?

1. It will raise issues in estate planning under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) such as who are the intestate heirs, who has priority to act as guardian/conservator for a partner or minor child, etc.  2.  The seminar will demonstrate how to effectively use mediation in probate and mental health cases, 3. Issues will also be covered related to the Affordable Care Act in estate planning, including the drafting of special needs trusts as well as the handling of guardianship and conservatorship cases and planning for small business owners, and 4.  There will also be a presentation regarding the ethical issues in the practice of estate planning, elder law and probate and liability concerns when representing fiduciaries as trustees, personal representatives, guardians, and conservators, and the steps to take by a practitioner confronted by claims of malpractice.

Thursday, June 12, 2:00 pm

T-28: Unauthorized Practice of Law in Arizona

Response by: Frankie Adamo

Who should attend this seminar?

Frank Adamo

Frank Adamo

All members of the State Bar should attend, because they probably encounter UPL practitioners but either tolerate interacting with them or are unaware of the harm or of how to report it.

What is the one main takeaway a lawyer will gain by attending this seminar?

The distinction between the authority of non-lawyers and out-of-state lawyers to legally provide services, on the one hand, and the harm to the public and the profession that comes from unauthorized practitioners.

How is this seminar timely? (That is: Why do attorneys need to learn more about this topic right now? What’s going on now in the world or in law practice that makes this topic important?)

Nationally, aggressive efforts are underway to allow non-lawyers to provide many of the services typically reserved for lawyers.  We need well-informed members to participate meaningfully in this dialogue, to ensure that protections for the public are in place, and that the services that should be reserved for licensed members are safeguarded.

What is the most common misconception about this issue? In other words, what do lawyers think they know, but don’t?

That, being licensed, they do not need to know about UPL. “That must be someone else’s problem.”

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