The 2013 Masters Seminar on Ethics features dynamic speakers discussing a variety of ethics issues that many lawyers face today. The highly acclaimed presenters include a former Chief District Court of Appeal judge, the Chair of The Florida Bar's annual Board Certification Review Course for Civil Trial Law, the national director of legal training for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, and the Director of The Florida Bar’s Law Office Management Assistance Service.
Drawing on examples from their years of experience, these knowledgeable speakers will cover current ethics issues that arise in oral argument, litigation, dealing with clients, and maintaining trust accounts. These issues are especially timely given recent disciplinary cases concerning candor toward the tribunal, treatment of opposing counsel and the court, conflicts of interest, and trust accounting violations. The presentations will include lectures as well as highly interactive segments including filmed scenarios and questions and answers.
8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Ethics and Oral Argument, Candor to the Tribunal, Treatment of Opposing Counsel (45 min)
David M. Gersten, Esq.
David M. Gersten, former Chief Judge on Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals, will use a highly interactive multi-modal form of presentation including filmed scenarios depicting oral argument. Participants will analyze and distinguish between appropriate and inappropriate (ethical versus unethical) behavior toward opposing counsel and appellate judges. Attendees will learn skills to become a better advocate at oral argument.
9:15 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Ethical Landmines for Litigators (45 min)
Edward K. Cheffy, Esq.
During this segment Edward K. Cheffy, who is Board Certified in both Civil Trial Law and Business Litigation Law, will discuss a variety of topics litigators face, including zealous advocacy, unintentional violation of solicitation rules, hidden conflicts, filing confidential documents, technology policies, improper use of information, supervision of agents and independent contractors, as well as other ethical landmines for litigators to avoid.
10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Break (15 min)
10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Who is Your Client? (45 min)
Thomas Newcomb Hyde, Esq.
Next, Thomas Hyde will explore a lawyer’s relationships with clients and third parties that sometimes blur the identity of the real client. Mr. Hyde will also explore the nuances of accepting payment from third parties, a lawyer’s duties to prospective clients, the challenges associated with dealing with organizational clients and clients with disabilities.
11:00 a.m. – 11:45 p.m.
Trust Me, It’s Not Your Money: Maintaining a Trustworthy Trust Account (45 min)
Judith D. Equels
Are you certain you understand trust accounting rules? In this presentation, the Director of The Florida Bar’s Law Office Management Assistance Service (LOMAS), Judith Equels, will provide a detailed discussion of the rules and expectations of The Florida Bar concerning the proper management trust accounts. Topics will include The Florida Bar trust accounting rules, applicable ethics opinions, key definitions, and best practices. You will learn that trust accounting involves more than just keeping money in the bank. Participate in this informative session to review the basic principles of trust accounting, and the best practices for Florida attorneys.