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The Gremlins of Law Office Theft and Fraud

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 61 minutes
Recorded Date: August 06, 2019
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  • The Ethics - Rules 1.15, 1.6, 8.4, 5.3, 5.5
  • The Warning Signs of Theft and Fraud
  • Proper Checks and Balances for Eliminating the Risks
  • Outsourced partners and In-House Staff
  • The Benefits and Drawbacks of Technology
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: August 6, 2019


If you're a solo practitioner or part of a small law firm, you may already use in-house and outsourced accountants and bookkeepers to manage your lawyer trust accounts, billing and collection, payroll, and other financials.

This program will provide guidance on proper oversight, checks and balances, and systems to help you ensure that your firm is safe from potential theft and fraud. This program will cover ABA Model Rule 1.15, and discuss general ethics requirements for safeguarding client property, as well as law office policies and procedures for protecting both firm and client funds from internal and external theft and fraud.

This program was recorded on August 6th, 2019.

Provided By

American Bar Association
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Laura Keeler

Practice Management Advisor
New Hampshire Bar Association

Laura Keeler is the New Member Services and Law Practice Management Coordinator. She is a New Hampshire native and a true New Englander. She loves sports, among them skiing, of course; in fact, when she graduated from Middlebury College, she graduated downhill “on the slopes,” a special privilege granted to February graduates of Middlebury. Prior to entering college, Laura’s eagerness to learn as much as she could about the law led her to take a Law & Government class, a class which she later interned for as a teaching assistant at the St. Paul’s Advanced Studies Program. At Middlebury, Laura majored in Political Science and she says she especially appreciated her senior elective class on Law & the Environment, which was co-taught by her physics professor and Vermont District Judge William K. Sessions. She furthered her legal studies at the Paralegal Studies program at NHTI, which she describes as “an unheralded resource to the legal community.” She says her professors were excellent teachers and attorneys. She was awarded a Certificate of Scholarship from the Paralegal Association of NH and earned her Certified Paralegal designation from the National Association of Legal Assistants.

Laura worked at the Dept. of Justice in Washington, DC where she became a paralegal specialist in the Honors Program, working in both the criminal and civil sections of the Antitrust Division. Her first case involved a proposed search advertising agreement between Yahoo and Google, and she later supported the litigation team which blocked a proposed merger by H & R Block. When she returned to New Hampshire, she also worked as a paralegal at Bianco P.A., where she worked mostly in probate, civil litigation, and real estate.

Her life in Washington was not all business, though. Laura played softball for the Justice League (on the National Mall, no less!) and frequented many museums and national monuments. She also visited the Supreme Court in session (4 times) and twice watched New Hampshire’s own Justice Souter on the Bench. She says she has admired both Justice Souter and Senator Rudman ever since she started reading the newspaper in grade school. She commends their integrity, public service, and commitment to civic engagement.

Laura first gained experience with hospitality and member services working summers on the Isles of Shoals, which are located off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. She highly recommends visiting the Isles, which are full of history, natural splendor, and picturesque views. She also realizes how lucky she has been to work at not one, but two locations with picturesque lighthouse backdrops, the second being the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum.

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Charity A. Anastasio

Associate Practice Management Advisor
AILA (American Immigration Lawyers Association)

Charity Anastasio is a Practice Management Advisor for the American Immigration Lawyers Association’s Practice and Professionalism Center in Washington D.C.

Charity received her JD from Seattle University School of Law in 2007 and opened a solo practice in 2008 focusing on estate planning, probate and family law.

In 2013 she joined the Washington State Bar Association’s Law Office Management Assistance Program. In 2015 she became the Director of Profession and Practice Advancement at the Maryland State Bar Association as, where she oversaw the Law Office Management Assistance and member benefits for a year and a half. Charity collaborates with AILA’s Ethics Committee and Practice Management Interest Group. She is the co-chair of the ABA Law Practice Division’s Outreach Committee and member of the Professional Development Board. She frequently authors the AILA PPC weekly practice tips and practice management and ethics articles.

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Heidi S. Alexander

Deputy Director
LCL (Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers)

Heidi joined LCL in 2012 and is currently the Deputy Director of LCL, where she helps manage organization operations and leads LCL’s practice management program (LOMAP). LOMAP provides free and confidential practice management assistance, guidance in implementing new law office technologies, and methods to attain healthy and sustainable practices. Heidi publishes and speaks regularly on law office management, technology, and productivity. She is the author of Evernote as a Law Practice Tool. Heidi serves on and leads a number of volunteer boards and committees. In 2017, Heidi was appointed to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s Standing Advisory Committee on Professionalism.

Prior to joining LCL, Heidi owned a law practice and consulting business, practiced employment law at a Boston-based law firm, clerked for a justice on the highest court of New Jersey, and worked for a nonprofit women’s business assistance center helping low income and minority women launch and grow their businesses. Heidi is a native of Minnesota, a graduate of Amherst College, a graduate of Rutgers School of Law, where she was the editor-in-chief of the Rutgers Law Review.

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