Key Ethical Issues When Ending the Attorney-Client Relationship

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The end of the attorney-client relationship is one that can be fraught with tension. It is a critical time in which attorneys may be faced with situations that can unknowingly raise risks and exposure to themselves and their law firms, depending on how they handle the circumstances.  Properly handling the termination of an attorney-client relationship is one of the best things an attorney can do to manage risks in her practice. This panel will explore the risks to lawyers when the attorney-client relationship ends, and what the lawyer and law firm can do to protect themselves against those risks, in both litigation and transactional settings.

Educational Objectives:
• How to recognize common red flag risks facing attorneys at the termination of an attorney-client relationship
• How to manage those red flag risks
• When must an attorney terminate the attorney-client relationship
• What the ethical constraints are in terminating the attorney-client relationship
• The best practice for terminating an attorney-client relationship

Who would benefit most from attending this program?
All attorneys in private practice will benefit from this presentation. 


Wendy Wen Yun Chang, Partner, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

Wendy Wen Yun Chang is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP.  She represents lawyers in all types of complex matters that involve the practice of the law, including risk management counseling, ethics, crises management, fee related issues, discipline defense, hotline counseling, and litigation defense.  Ms. Chang is a Certified Specialist in Legal Malpractice Law by the State Bar of California's Board of Legal Specialization.  Ms. Chang is a member of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and is an Advisor to the State Bar of California's Commission for the Revision of the Rules of Professional Conduct.  She is a past chair of the State Bar of California's Standing Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct.


Neil J. Wertlieb, Partner, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP

Neil J Wertlieb is a partner at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. He teaches “Lifecycle of a Corporation” at UCLA Law School. He is a former Chairman of each of the Ethics Committee, the Business Law Section and the Corporations Committee of the California State Bar.  Neil is the editor of Ballantine & Sterling: California Corporation Laws. He is a graduate of the UC Berkeley School of Law and admitted to practice in California, New York and Washington D.C.  Neil is frequently called as an expert witness in matters related to attorney ethics, corporate governance, business transactions. 

Scott B. Garner, Partner, Umberg Zipser LLP

Scott Garner is a partner with the law firm of Umberg Zipser LLP in Irvine, California.  His practice focuses on complex business litigation, with an emphasis on attorney liability defense.  He also has significant experience in the areas of securities litigation, intellectual property litigation, corporate governance, and hospital and health care law.  Mr. Garner is the immediate past Chair of the State Bar's Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct and is currently the Advisor to that Committee.  He is the Co-Chair of the Orange County Bar Association's Professionalism and Ethics Committee and the Co-Chair of the Orange County Bar Association’s Civility Task Force.  He also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Orange County Bar Association and as President of the Orange County Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers. He is a frequent author and speaker on ethics-related issues.