"The Accidental Lawyer" - Terms of Engagement

By Michael Kahn and Chris Osborn
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Price: $49.00

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Key Takeaways

  • Identify generally how implied attorney-client relationships are formed and the specific factors that a reviewing court will consider
  • Better understand the difference between the duty of confidentiality and the attorney-client privilege
  • Recognize the common stumbling blocks that often hinder lawyers’ efforts to protect themselves in particularly challenging scenarios
  • Learn practical strategies and best practices to avoid entering into an implied attorney-client relationship

Course Overview

"You're a lawyer, right?" Seemingly innocuous words, but when said at a cocktail party, family gathering, or even in a hallway or elevator at the courthouse, they pose a genuine challenge, don’t they? We want to use our training to help folks, right? After all, isn’t that at least a part of why many of us went to law school?

And yet, how many times has a conversation that began with those very words turned out to be the source of tremendous trouble? Beyond the obvious risk of getting sidetracked from the social occasion in which one is supposed to be participating, or the task one is trying to accomplish, there lurk even greater dangers. As some poor, unfortunate souls have learned, if a lawyer is not careful in responding, he or she may inadvertently create a professional relationship, without intending to do so--leaving the lawyer potentially exposed to a malpractice claim.

And even if an attorney-client relationship is not deemed to have been formed, a would-be client may nevertheless believe that he or she is communicating with the prospective lawyer in confidence for the purpose of obtaining legal services; if that belief is found to have been a reasonable one, the attorney may end up prohibited from disclosing any confidential information communicated.

This new program from ReelTime CLE is designed to help lawyers be more alert to the vulnerabilities they may face in various non-office settings, and to equip them with best practices for defining their roles up front, and setting clear boundaries with the person seeking advice.

With the aid of three original film vignettes depicting three all-too-common challenging scenarios, viewers will have an opportunity to identify their own particular areas of potential exposure, and to develop proactive strategies for navigating these situations with less risk and greater peace of mind.

Publication Date: August 20, 2016

Length: 1hr 17min

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Meet the Presenter(s):

Michael Kahn
Michael Kahn holds a J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law, and practiced law with the Attorney General’s Office for the State of New Jersey for 6 years. Although he left the practice of law in 1991, his work thereafter has kept him involved in the lives of attorneys in various capacities. Following a stint as Assistant Director of Career Services with the Tulane University School of Law, Michael obtained his M. Ed. in Counseling from UNC- Greensboro in 1994, and shortly thereafter became a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of North Carolina. Michael’s areas of focus in his psychotherapy practice have included anxiety, depression, grief/loss, career satisfaction, and men's issues, and he has worked with adolescents and adults in individual and group therapy settings. More...
Chris Osborn
In addition to his ongoing work with ReelTime CLE, Chris Osborn is the founding principal of Osborn Conflict Resolution, which provides Superior Court mediation, pre-litigation conflict coaching and dispute resolution, and Christian conflict conciliation services throughout North Carolina. Chris has been certified by the N.C. Dispute Resolution Commission as a Superior Court mediator since 2009, and has assisted the vast majority of his legal clients over the years to reach amicable resolutions in a wide variety of litigation matters. From 2012-2015, Chris served as an Assistant Professor at the Charlotte School of Law, where he taught “Interviewing, Client Counseling, and Negotiations,” Civil Procedure, Contracts, and “Problems in Practice: Commercial Transactions.” While in academia, Chris’ scholarly research focused on ethics and professional responsibility, and particularly the interrelationship of both with mental health and substance abuse issues. More...

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