Ethical Challenges in Attorney-Client Relationships



This program will examine the ethical standards that apply under the Model Rules and the Federal Rules when defining the “Attorney – Client” Relationship. The approach of the program is to combine an analysis of rules with actual cases and possible scenarios. Each aspect of the attorney- client relationship will be discussed from the perspective of challenges that face an attorney in creating and maintaining the attorney’s relationship. Specifically the program will look at problems that face attorneys who deal with large companies with multiple subsidiaries and small family companies where the attorney or her firm represent family members as well as the business interests. Questions relating to defining client relationships in light of the rules of disqualification will be examined with an emphasis on avoidance and management of conflicts. The program will conclude with a look at useful hints on minimizing the risks that can develop.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   Determining who is your client
•   Doing business with you client knowingly or unwittingly
•   Avoiding disqualification based on “Conflicts of Interest”
•   Limiting client engagement to minimize risk

Date / Time: November 18, 2019

•   2:00 pm – 5:00 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 4:00 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 3:00 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 2:00 pm Pacific

Choose a format:

•   Live Video Broadcast/Re-Broadcast: Watch Program “live” in real-time, must sign-in and watch program on date and time set above. May ask questions during presentation via chat box. Qualifies for “live” CLE credit.
•   On-Demand Video: Access CLE 24/7 via on-demand library and watch program anytime. Qualifies for self-study CLE credit. On-demand versions are made available 7 business days after the original recording date and are view-able for up to one year.

Select your state to see if this class is approved for CLE credit.

Choose the format you want.


Original Broadcast Date: October 22, 2019

Steven R. Sorenson, Esq. is a shareholder in the law firm vonBriesen & Roper, s.c. which is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with offices in New York, Chicago, Florida and Arizona as well as throughout Wisconsin. He received his undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Political Science from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa in 1972 and his law degree from Marquette University in 1977. Sorenson is a former newspaper editor and radio station news editor. Sorenson has served as Secretary and President of the State Bar of Wisconsin and is a Past-President of the National Conference of Bar Presidents where he continues to serve as a Life Fellow. Sorenson has served in the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association is a Fellow of the ABA Law Foundation and past-president of the Wisconsin Law Foundation Fellows. He has served in several capacities with the Wisconsin Supreme Court Office of Lawyer Regulation and is a member of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility. He is the past president and current Treasurer of the Board of Directors of the Senior Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Wisconsin. He has served as a mentor and advisor for the past twenty-eight years on the Wisconsin Lawyers Assistance working with lawyers dealing with mental disabilities. Sorenson is an adjunct professor of Political & Government as well Economics & Business at Ripon College where he is responsible for the Pre-Law Society and the Law & Society program. Sorenson is currently teaching ethics, media law, land use law, business law, and constitutional law. Sorenson is a frequent continuing legal education lecturer on Professionalism, Special Needs Trusts, Real Estate Law and Ethics. He also lecturers in training programs for surveyors, developers, and land use planners.

Accreditation Policy
myLawCLE seeks accreditation for all programs in all states. (Accreditation for paralegals sought thru NALA and NFPA paralegal associations.) Each attending attorney/paralegal will receive a certificate of completion following the close of the CLE program as proof of attendance. In required states, myLawCLE records attorney/paralegals attendance, in all other states attorney/paralegal is provided with the approved CLE certificate to submit to their state bar or governing association.

    Automatic MCLE Approvals

All myLawCLE CLE programs are accredited automatically either directly or via reciprocity in the following states: AK, AR, CA, CT, FL, HI, MO, MT, ND, NH, NM, NJ, NY, WV, and VT. (AZ does not approve CLE programs, but accepts our certificates for CLE credit.)

    Live Video Broadcasts

Live video broadcasts are new live CLE programs being streamed and recorded for the first time. All of these programs qualify for “Live” CLE credit in all states except NV, OH, MS, IN, UT, PA, GA, SC, and LA —these states require in-person attendance to qualify for “Live” CLE credit.

    “Live” Re-Broadcasts

“Live” Re-broadcasts are replays of previous recorded CLE programs, set on a specific date and time and where the original presenting speakers calls in live at the end of the event to answer questions. This “live” element allows for “live” Re-broadcast CLEs to qualify for “Live” CLE credits in most states. [The following states DO NOT allow for “live” CLE credits on re-broadcast CLEs: NV, OH, MS, IN, UT, PA, GA, SC, and LA]

Many states allow for credit to be granted on a 1:1 reciprocal basis for courses approved in another mandatory CLE jurisdiction state. This is known as a reciprocity provision and includes the following states: AK, AR, HI, CT, FL, MO, MT, ND, NH, NM, VT, NJ, NY, and WV. myLawCLE does not seek direct accreditation of live webinars or teleconferences in these states.

Section I. Determining who is your client
a) Definition of a current client, past client, and prospective client
b) Identifying the client in the world business conglomerates

Section II. Doing business with you client knowingly or unwittingly
a) Definition of doing business under the ethical rules
b) Recognizing potential traps involving other attorneys and employees of the firm

Section III. Avoiding disqualification based on “Conflicts of Interest”
a) Recognizing the difference between disqualification and ethical violation
b) Tools to use to avoid inadvertent disqualification

Section IV. Limiting client engagement to minimize risk
a) Defining limited scope engagements
b) Proper use of engagement and disengagement agreements
c) Samples