Audio CD + Course Book

Legal Ethics: Attorney Fees and Client Funds

Audio CD + Course Book

Copyright Date:

December, 2017

Product ID#:


Audio + Course Book

Credit Information

Continuing Legal Education

  • ME CLE - 3.00
From Event: Legal Ethics: Attorney Fees and Client Funds, held December 2017.

Program Description

We've scanned the nation for the latest ethics opinions concerning attorney fees and client funds and have compiled them into a thought-provoking ethics guide! This essential guide is jam-packed with the muddiest issues - from ethically structuring fee arrangements and engagement letters to collecting the fees owed and managing and maintaining trust accounts. Make sure you know the latest rule interpretations to avoid ethical violations and maintain your professional reputation - order today!

Course Content

  1. Ethics of Fee Arrangements
  2. Engagement Letters/Retainer Agreements (with Samples)
  3. Ethical Billing and Collection Methods
  4. Trust Accounts: Ethical Considerations
  5. Fee Dispute Resolution

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 3.00 ME - Credit Approval Expiration 12/15/2019 *

* denotes specialty credits

Agenda / Content Covered

  1. Ethics of Fee Arrangements
    8:45 - 9:20, James M. Bowie
    1. Common Legal Fee Structures/Types of Fees
    2. Determination of Reasonable Fees
    3. Communication and Confirmation of Fee Arrangements
    4. Referral Fees
    5. Fee Splitting/Division of Fees
    6. Work Done by Non-Attorneys
    7. Dealing with Financially Distressed Clients
  2. Engagement Letters/Retainer Agreements (with Samples)
    9:20 - 9:55, Robert S. Hark
    1. When are They Required?
    2. Critical Clauses to Include
    3. Defining the Scope of Representation
    4. Spelling Out Fees, Computation, Disbursements and Expenses
    5. Sample Letters and Agreements
  3. Ethical Billing and Collection Methods
    9:55 - 10:30, James M. Bowie
    1. When to Bill Clients
    2. Communication and Documentation
    3. Billing Cycle Customization
    4. Invoice Considerations (w/Samples)
    5. Implications of Interest Charges
    6. Attorney Liens and Other Mechanisms to Secure Payment
    7. Working with Third Party Collection Agencies
  4. Trust Accounts: Ethical Considerations
    10:45 - 11:20, Robert S. Hark
    1. Trust Account Rules and Standards
    2. Fiduciary Obligations
    3. Account Designation and Setup Requirements
    4. Rules for Fees Earned in Advance
    5. Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA)
    6. Financial Institution Direction and Instruction
    7. Required Records and Recordkeeping Requirements
  5. Fee Dispute Resolution
    11:20 - 12:00, Steven E. Cope

JAMES M. BOWIE is the managing partner with the law firm of Thompson Bowie & Hatch LLC, in Portland. Mr. Bowie’s practice focuses on commercial litigation, insurance counseling services and professional liability. His exceptional reputation in the legal community is built, in part, on his successful involvement in cases which have helped shape Maine law. Not only is he a veteran of countless jury trials in both state and federal court, as well as non-jury trials, arbitrations, mediations and administrative hearings, but he has also been counsel of record in more than 80 matters before the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Mr. Bowie is an active arbitrator and mediator, participating in the panels for the Maine’s Rule 16B mandatory ADR program, as well as a substantial private arbitration and mediation practice. He is a frequent lecturer on subjects of trial practice, alternative dispute resolution, insurance law, and risk management for professionals. Mr. Bowie received his B.A. degree from Bowdoin College and his J.D. degree from the University of Maine School of Law. He is a member of the American Bar Association, the Maine State Bar Association, the Cumberland County Bar Association, the Maine Trial Lawyers Association, the Defense Research Institute, the Tri-State Defense Lawyers Association, the Center for Professional Responsibility, the Mediation Arbitration and Early Neutral Evaluation panels maintained by CADRES for the Maine Superior Court, the Professional Ethics Commission of the Board of Overseers of the Bar, and the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals.

STEVEN E. COPE is a managing member and principal attorney in the Cope Law Firm founded in 2009 in Portland, Maine, successor to Cope and Cope, P.A., founded in 1979. Mr. Cope maintains a general practice, with emphases in business and consumer bankruptcy, business transactions and organizations, commercial law and creditor/debtor practice and litigation. He is a frequent lecturer and seminar presenter in continuing legal education seminars regarding bankruptcy, real estate, commercial law and ethics, as well as similar programs for non-lawyers and clients. Mr. Cope is a member of the American, Maine State and Cumberland County bar associations; and the American Bankruptcy Institute. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976 and his J.D. degree from Boston College Law School in 1979. During his second and third years at Boston College Law School, Mr. Cope was an editor of the Uniform Commercial Code Reporter-Digest, published by Matthew Bender & Company. In 1979, Mr. Cope was admitted to practice before the bars of the State of Maine and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and continues to maintain active status in both jurisdictions.

ROBERT S. HARK is an attorney practicing in Portland, Maine. He has extensive experience in all aspects of municipal, real estate and corporate law. In more than 40 years of practicing law, Mr. Hark has represented clients with real estate transactional matters and litigation. He is known to possess an intimate knowledge of Maine law regarding roads, both public and private and "in-between," and for his broad expertise in real estate law and litigation, including both trial and appellate work, having argued many cases in the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals. Mr. Hark has been president of the Androscoggin County Bar Association, and is a member of the Cumberland County, Maine State and American bar associations, and the Maine Trial Lawyers Association and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America. He is a member of the Commercial Arbitration Panel of the American Arbitration Association and is a public arbitrator for the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Mr. Hark served for many years on the Maine Bar's Professional Ethics Commission and is the vice chair of the Maine Grievance Commission. He earned his bachelor's degree from Colby College and his J.D. degree from Boston University School of Law.

Please refer to Continuing Education Credit FAQ for general information about seeking credit for your participation in one of our continuing education programs.

Additionally, our team of credit specialists are here to answer your specific credit-related questions weekdays 7am - 5pm Central:

Phone: 866-240-1890


Accreditation Details:

Continuing Legal Education

ME CLE: 3.00 Credit Approval Exp
Includes - Ethics: 3.00
This course has been approved by the State of Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar. Lawyers who complete this course may receive up to 3.0 hours of self-study CLE credit including 3.0 ethics hours under M. Bar R. 12. No more than 5.5 hours of self-study CLE credit may be earned during a reporting period.

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