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37th ABA National Forum on Client Protection


Standing Committee on Public Protection in the Provision of Legal Services

The National Forum on Client Protection - a national educational, informational and networking event for professionals working the area of client protection.

All Times are Eastern Standard Time

Friday, June 3

12:00  - 12:30 PM


12:30  - 12:45 PM

Welcome and Introduction

Alecia Chandler- ABA Standing Committee on Public Protection in the Provision of Legal Services; Professional Standards Assistant Division Director, State Bar of Michigan

12:45 - 2:15 PM

Town Hall Meeting

Representatives from each jurisdiction present will highlight the major accomplishments of their client protection programs during the past year and will address issues or problems they are currently confronting. Jurisdictions should assign a representative to provide a brief update of their fund’s activities, not to exceed 3 minutes

Michael J. Knight, Sr., Executive Director, NYS Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection;
Newton N. Knowles, Attorney, Client Security Fund, The State Bar of California

2:15 - 3:30 PM

Regulatory Innovations and Implications for Public Protection

For many years, client protection has focused on a mechanism to reimburse clients who have been the victim of “bad apple” attorneys who misappropriate trust monies.  Could we be more proactive in protecting the public? Think PMBR, which establishes an ethical framework prospectively governing lawyers rather than waiting for complaints to trigger after-the-fact discipline.  Regulatory innovations in place in some states and under considerations in others anticipate potential harms to consumers on the front end—and demand data and accountability from legal service providers before they may deliver services.  Learn how this is working and explore the implications for the public protection community in this cutting edge and interactive program.

Jayne Reardon, Chicago, IL

Craig Dobson, Dobson Law LLC; New York, NY
Jan Jacobowitz, Legal Ethics Advisor; Miami, FL


3:40 - 5:00 PM

Whither Thou Goest, Will UPL Follow? (Re-conceptualizing UPL) 
Joint Session with National Conference on Professional Responsibility

Historically, unauthorized practice of law has been geographically based. Anyone—out of state lawyer or any nonlawyer—who would practice a state’s law either within the state or from any remote location would be subject to discipline under the equivalent of Model Rule 5.5 or other possible sanction under a state statute. Now, the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers are reviewing Model Rule 5.5 and state bar associations are authorizing remote practice of a lawyer’s home state law within their geographic location. Some states have considered or are considering allowing non-lawyers to practice law. How should “unauthorized practice of law” be defined? Should a distinction be made between lawyers and non-lawyers? How should Rule 5.5 and state statutes be amended? (This does not address playing in the sandbox—a much bigger question.) But is the end of times at hand?

Dennis A. Rendleman, Lawyer, Springfield, IL

Ghunise Coaxum, UPL Bar Counsel, The Florida Bar
Lynda Shely, Founder, Partner, The Shely Firm
Allen Orr, President, American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA)

5.:00  - 7:00 PM - Joint Reception with National Conference on Professional Responsibility

Saturday, June 4

7:00 AM - 4:00 PM


7:00  - 8:45 AM

Networking Breakfast

9:00 - 10:15 AM

Hot Topics for Client Protection Funds

Using issues and concerns raised during Friday’s Town Hall Meeting as a launching pad, this moderated discussion will focus on current challenges facing lawyers’ funds for client protection and other client protection mechanisms. The Model Rules for Lawyers’ Funds for Client Protection, the NCPO Standards, jurisdictional rules and standards, as well as established precedent will be applied to help attendees evaluate and propose solutions to emerging client protection matters.


10:15  - 10:30 AM - REFRESHMENT BREAK

10:30 - 11:45 AM

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure: Utilizing Mentoring to Protect Clients

Many times, law students’ and new lawyers’ first glimpse into the world of practicing attorneys are through mentoring programs.  These programs have been shown in many states to be effective initiatives in preparing law students and new lawyers with entering the profession.  Some mentoring programs also have a legal education requirement that assist new lawyers in acquiring the practical skills, judgment, and professional values necessary to practice law in a highly competent manner.  The relationships fostered and information assessed serves as a viable pipeline from the classroom to the courtroom.   

D. Nichole Davis, Risk Management Director/Mentoring Program Administrator, South Carolina Bar

11:45 AM  - 1:00 PM - Lunch (On Your Own)

1:00  - 2:15 PM

Avoiding Trust Account Scams:  What's New and What's Still Happening

Over the past two years, issues such as cyber security and technological competence took center stage. Virtually overnight lawyers had to ensure that they could run their practices remotely and that they had the necessary technology to service clients.  Among the many demands on lawyers shifting to a fully digital practice was the requirement that lawyers take the necessary steps to protect their escrow accounts from scams and other data breaches.  This program will review the ethical and risk management issues involved with preventing and, if necessary, dealing with escrow scams and other instances of unauthorized access into a lawyer or law firm's escrow account.

Lauren Snyder, Harris Wiltshire & Grannis LLP
Elizabeth Simon, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP


2:30 - 4:00 PM

Difficult Claims Interactive Workshop
Presented by the National Client Protection Organization

The NCPO will lead an interactive discussion of such issues as difficult claims, restitution, and subrogation as they pertain to lawyers’ funds for client protection in the United States and Canada.

Michael T. McCormick, Senior Counsel, New Jersey Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection
Doug Burry, Counsel, New Jersey Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection
Ruby Cochran, Counsel New Jersey Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection

4:00  - 4:05 PM

Closing Remarks

Alecia Chandler- ABA Standing Committee on Public Protection in the Provision of Legal Services; Professional Standards Assistant Division Director, State Bar of Michigan


The ABA directly applies for  and ordinarily receives CLE credit for ABA programs in AK, AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, GU, HI, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MN, MS, MO, MP, MT, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, VI, WA, WI, and WV. These states sometimes do not approve a program for credit before the program occurs. This course is expected to qualify for 9.67 CLE credit hours in 60-minute states, and 11.60 credit hours in 50-minute states. This transitional program is approved for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys in NY.  Attorneys may be eligible to receive CLE credit through reciprocity or attorney self-submission in other states. 

For more information about CLE accreditation in your state, visit  or contact Annie Kuhlman at [email protected].



A limited number of scholarships to defray tuition expenses for lawyers who are unable to attend the program due to cost considerations are available for this program. To receive additional information, please contact Annie Kuhlman ([email protected]). Scholarship requests must be received by no later than 30 days prior to the program presentation