Every Day Ethics: Most Common Problems and What to Do


Live Broadcast on August 17, 2017

Ethics in the modern law office can be extremely confusing and upsetting. Somehow the Ethics courses in Law School do not translate well to every day practice. This program will attempt to bring some reality the Rules of Professional Conduct. The program will explore some of the common ethical problems every lawyer faces in their practice. Identifying the problem is always the first step. This program will provide tools that can help the practitioner recognize when a problem is looming or has occurred. It will also look at how to handle the ethical dilemmas as they occur with practical solutions on how to avoid problems and how to deal with them once they occur.

Particular attention will be given to the model rules of professional conduct as they relate to client communication and interaction. Attention will be given to dealing with difficult clients and the process of removing oneself from a bad or deteriorating situation. Special attention will be given the use of engagement agreements and disengagement letters. Sample agreements will be provided for the participants to examine and consider. The final portion of the program will deal with the duties of a lawyer to report ethical violations and the lawyer’s duties if a complaint is filed.

This course is co-sponsored by Wolters Kluwer.

Key topics to be discussed:

•   Client’s to Avoid and How to Protect Yourself
•   Defining the Attorney-Client Relationship through Engagement Agreements
•   Confidentiality in the Digital World
•   How to Properly Handle Complaints and Unethical Behavior by Others

Date / Time: August 17, 2017

•   2:00 pm – 5:15 pm Eastern
•   1:00 pm – 4:15 pm Central
•   12:00 pm – 3:15 pm Mountain
•   11:00 am – 2:15 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.


Steven R. Sorenson, Esq. is a shareholder in the law firm vonBriesen & Roper s.c. working out of offices in Ripon and Oshkosh. He is the former owner and principal of the Sorenson Law Office. 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 broadcaster. As a lawyer Sorenson has served in many capacities with the State Bar of Wisconsin, chairing several of the State Bar Standing Committees, including the Finance, Solo and Small Firm, Communications, Convention and Entertainment Committees.

Sorenson served as Secretary in 1994-96 and then President in 1997-1998 of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

Sorenson is a Past-President of the National Conference of Bar Presidents, and a former member of the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association. Currently he is Life-Time Fellow of the ABA Law Foundation. He is also a founding member and past-president of the Fellows of the Wisconsin Law Foundation. Sorenson is President of the Senior Lawyers Division of the State Bar of Wisconsin.

Sorenson is an adjunct professor in the Business and Politics Departments at Ripon College and presents numerous seminars on Legal Ethics throughout the United States.

Sorenson is a frequent lecturer on Real Estate Law and Ethics. He has written articles on Land Use Management and Control, Water and Riparian Rights, Law Practice Management and Constitutional History. He currently services as a consultant on small business governance and mining projects throughout Wisconsin.

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myLawCLE will seek credit where attending attorneys are primarily licensed for all of its live webinars and live teleconferences, except in states which allow for reciprocity (see reciprocity section below). Credit for CLE in a self-study format is sought for in most states; however, some states do not allow for CLE credit to be earned in a self-study format (see the self-study section below). Many states typically decide whether a program qualifies for MCLE credit in their jurisdiction 4-8 weeks after the program application is submitted. For many live events, credit approval is not received prior to the program. Credit hours granted are subject to approval from each state.

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Section I. Top Ten Clients to Avoid, How to Spot Them Early, and the Actions to Take
a) Defining the problem clients.
b) Applying the rule of competence
c) Disengagement

Section II. Defining the Attorney Client Relationship
a) Know what it is and how it is created
b) Use Engagement Agreement to define the relationship
c) What should be included in the Agreement: Effective Drafting
c) Amending the Agreement when necessary
d) Some interesting variations to deal with fees and fee collection
e) How to handle the disappearing client

Section III. Confidentiality in the Digital World
a) Proper use of email – What to say and what not to say
b) Metadata: Protecting Against Inadvertent Disclosure
c) Confidentiality Tips for Mobile Attorneys
d) Protecting Client Confidentiality in the Cloud
e) Handling Inadvertent Disclosures
f) Other considerations

Section IV. How to Properly Handle Complaints and Unethical Behavior by Others
a) Responding to complaints: the dos and don’ts
b) Know the rules
c) Procedure to follow
d) Dealing with the unethical behavior of others