Live Seminar

Legal Ethics: Top Mistakes that Lead to Malpractice



1/2 Day Seminar
Tuesday, March 27, 2018


8:45 AM - 12:00 PM

Product ID#:



Best Western Plus Clocktower Inn

2511 1st Avenue North

Billings, MT 59101


$219 / Each Additional

Registration Includes Course Book

Credit Information

Continuing Legal Education

  • MT CLE - 3.00

Program Description

Best Practices in Legal Ethics Compliance

Legal ethics is compliance-driven, but this engaging course goes beyond rules overview to talk about the worst-case scenario situations, when simple mistakes cost an attorney his/her license. Fulfill your continuing education requirement and learn how to protect your practice over insightful discussion with experienced colleagues. Find out how simple everyday practices can be improved to prevent client dissatisfaction and ensure legal ethics compliance. Register today!

  • Find out what constitutes an ethical violation in client communication.
  • Learn what inadvertent mistakes often result in "misuse of client funds" claims.
  • Adopt impeccable email communication techniques to prevent accidentally breaching confidentiality.
  • Clarify what constitutes "inadequate" investigation/discovery.
  • Get clear guidance for what to do to respond to a complaint.
  • Follow best practices in attorney fee agreements to promote transparency and manage client expectations.

Who Should Attend

This basic-to-intermediate level seminar is designed to provide practical legal ethics guidance to attorneys. It will also benefit paralegals and other legal support staff.

Course Content

  1. Office Administrative Issues/Errors
  2. Key Substantive and Procedural Errors
  3. Client Communication Errors
  4. Other Ethics Dangers
  5. What to do if You Think You Might be in Trouble

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 3.00 *

* denotes specialty credits

Agenda / Content Covered

Presented by: Susan L. Wordal

  1. Office Administrative Issues/Errors
    8:45 - 9:15
    1. Case Handling: How to Avoid Costly Delays
    2. Calendaring: Failure to Calendar and/or React to Calendar
    3. Preparation and Filing of Documents: Key Mistakes to Consider (With Deadlines and Without)
    4. Clerical Errors
    5. Lost Files - Document Evidence
  2. Key Substantive and Procedural Errors
    9:15 - 10:00
    1. The Law: Knowledge, Application, Interpretation Errors
    2. Procedure: Planning Errors in Choice of Procedures
    3. Discovery: Investigation (In and Outside of Litigation) and Inadequate Development
    4. Deadlines: Failure to Know or Ascertain - The "Kiss of Death" Issue
    5. Conflict of Interest
    6. Failure to Understand or Anticipate Tax
    7. Public Record Search Errors
    8. Pre-trial, Pre-Hearing Advice Missteps
  3. Client Communication Errors
    10:15 - 10:45
    1. Mistakes Stemming from Improper/Unclear Legal Advertising
    2. Starting a Lawyer-Client Relationship Carelessly/Accidentally
    3. Unclear Fee Agreements
    4. Failure to Obtain Client Consent and/or Follow Client Instruction
    5. Improper Withdrawal of Representation
  4. Other Ethics Dangers
    10:45 - 11:15
    1. Intentional Wrongs: Malicious Prosecution, Fraud, Libel or Slander
    2. How Satisfied Past Clients Can Inadvertently Ruin Your Life
    3. The Client as Business Partner - How to Protect Yourself
    4. Switching Firms in a Hurry
    5. Key Email Mistakes
    6. Commingling and Mismanagement of Client Funds
  5. What to do if You Think You Might be in Trouble
    11:15 - 12:00
    1. Do You Face a Potential Legal Ethics Breach? Getting Clarification from the Rules and the Bar
    2. "Appearance of Impropriety" Standard
    3. Short-Term Mitigation Strategies
    4. Key Elements of Legal Malpractice Cause of Action
    5. Ethical Investigations and Legal Malpractice Claims

SUSAN L. WORDAL is a sole practitioner in Bozeman, Montana. She maintains a general practice, focusing in estate planning and contracts. Ms. Wordal has lectured on ethics for the Montana State Bar Association and also has lectured to various groups at the Montana League of Cities and Towns meetings. She retired as chief prosecutor for the city of Bozeman after 21 years. Ms. Wordal currently sits on the Montana State Bar Ethics Committee. She is also admitted to practice in Wisconsin. Ms. Wordal earned her B.A. degree from the University of Montana and her J.D. degree from the University of Montana 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

MT CLE: 3.00 Includes - Ethics: 3.00
Approved for 3.0 hours of CLE credit by the Montana Commission on Continuing Legal Education, including 3.0 hour of ethics.

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How To Order

Web: Order Now
Call: 800.930.6182
Fax: 715.835.1405
Mail: NBI
P.O. Box 3067
Eau Claire, WI 54702