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Swindlers, Scammers, and Sharks: Protecting Trust Account Funds

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 93 minutes
Recorded Date: August 16, 2018
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  • ABA Model Rule for Payee Notification
  • ABA Model Rules for Client Trust Account Records
  • Dixon, Laukitis & Downing, P.C. v. Busey Bank
  • NYC Bar Association Formal Opinion 2015-3
  • Lawyer's Professional Responsibility when 3rd Party Steals Funds from Trust Accounts
  • ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15: Safekeeping Property
Runtime: 1 hour and 33 minutes
Recorded: August 16, 2018


Every U.S. jurisdiction has adopted rules of professional conduct that require lawyers to safeguard client funds and ensure that non-lawyer assistants' conduct is compatible with the rules. In today's world of internet banking, wire transfers, and third-party hackers, lawyers must be even more vigilant when holding funds in trust.

Every U.S. jurisdiction has adopted rules of professional conduct that require lawyers to safeguard client funds and ensure that non-lawyer assistants' conduct is compatible with the rules. In today's world of internet banking, wire transfers, and third-party hackers, lawyers must be even more vigilant when holding funds in trust.

Join this panel as they analyze every lawyer's responsibility to protect trust account funds and evaluate the cases interpreting those requirements.

This program was recorded on August 16th, 2018.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Lynda C. Shely

The Shely Firm, PC

Lynda opened The Shely Firm, PC in 2003 after serving as the State Bar of Arizona’s Director of Lawyer Ethics for ten years. Lynda represents legal professionals, including law firms, in-house corporate legal departments, individual lawyers and government entities in ethics, risk management, and professional responsibility matters.

Lynda advises lawyers in responding to Bar inquiries, serves as a practice monitor for lawyers in discipline diversion programs, consults with firms on ethics compliance including staff training, law rm practice management procedures (calendaring, conflict checking, client intake procedures, communication policies, fee agreement requirements, record retention policies, and risk assessment), trust account reviews, and she reviews lawyer advertising and marketing for ethics compliance. Lynda also provides in-house CLE ethics programs customized to each rm.

Lynda also serves as an expert witness in legal malpractice cases, fee disputes, motions to disqualify, and unauthorized practice of law claims. Lynda has been qualified as an expert in Arizona legal ethics.

Lynda is a frequent national speaker on all legal ethics, risk management, professional liability, billing, unauthorized practice of law, legal marketing, social media and technology ethics issues, and professionalism topics.

As the Director of Ethics at the State Bar of Arizona from 1993 until 2003, Lynda answered approximately 8000 ethics calls each year and drafted dozens of written ethics advisory opinions published by the State Bar Ethics Committee. She also supervised the unauthorized practice of law counsel, the Fee Arbitration Program, and Peer Review Committee. She served as staff counsel to the Client Protection Fund and Ethics Committee. Lynda began her legal career in 1987 as an intellectual property associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in Washington, D.C.

As a member of the State Bar of Arizona’s Ethical Rules Review Group and Multijurisdictional Task Force, Lynda helped with the drafting of both the 2003 extensive amendments to the Arizona Rules of Professional Conduct as well as the amendments to Ethical Rule 5.5 to permit temporary practice in Arizona by out-of-state lawyers.

Lynda currently serves on the State Bar of Arizona Convention Working Group, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, the ABA Working Group on the Advancement of Lawyer WellBeing, and as a member of the ABA House of Delegates.

Lynda is a past president of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL), which is the national association of lawyers who advise and represent other lawyers on legal ethics, discipline and malpractice matters. Lynda also is a past president of the Scottsdale Bar Association.

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Jonathan H. Margolies

Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

Jon is a persuasive and effective advocate for large commercial clients seeking to protect their intellectual property assets. His outstanding track record is built on successful outcomes in high-profile litigation related to patents directed at a wide range of technologies.

Jon’s common sense and diligent attention to client goals have proven a winning combination in dozens of trademark, unfair competition, and trade libel cases across the United States. His patent enforcement and infringement work encompasses a wide range of technical areas.

A frequent lecturer on legal ethics, Jon is also the General Counsel of Michael Best. He has taught as an adjunct professor at Marquette University Law School for more than 15 years on topics related to patent and trademark litigation.

Prior to joining Michael Best, Jon practiced litigation at one of the leading law firms in Chicago.

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Noah D. Fiedler

Hinshaw & Culbertson, LLP

Noah Fiedler helps his clients—from lawyers and law firms to corporations and public entities—navigate through the roadblocks and difficulties they face. Noah's clients value his pragmatic approach to both litigation and counseling. By assessing potential impacts on the organization as a whole, he provides his clients with the best solution to their situation, going beyond the context of litigation. He has extensive experience defending lawyers in malpractice claims and in disciplinary proceedings, as well as counseling individual lawyers, law firms and legal departments on risk management and ethics issues.

In addition, Noah provides risk management counsel for corporations and public entities and resolves commercial disputes through negation, mediation or, if necessary, litigation.

With his vast knowledge on the subject, Noah has been vital in developing a variety of risk management resources, including Hinshaw's Safety Net. He is also the co-editor of Hinshaw's Lawyers' Lawyer Newsletter and Cyber Alerts.

Noah has wide-ranging experience as an appointed and elected official in Wisconsin. He has served in multiple elected leadership positions in his local community with varying responsibilities and areas of oversight, including planning and public works.

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