How to Stay out of Trouble When You are Out of the Office
"You're a lawyer, right?" Seemingly innocuous words, but when said at a cocktail party, family gathering, or even in a hallway or elevator at the courthouse, they pose a genuine challenge, don’t they? We want to use our training to help folks, right? After all, isn’t that at least a part of why many of us went to law school?
And yet, how many times has a conversation that began with those very words turned out to be the source of tremendous trouble? Beyond the obvious risk of getting sidetracked from the social occasion in which one is supposed to be participating, or the task one is trying to accomplish, there lurk even greater dangers. As some poor, unfortunate souls have learned, if a lawyer is not careful in responding, he or she may inadvertently create a professional relationship, without intending to do so--leaving the lawyer potentially exposed to a malpractice claim. And even if an attorney-client relationship is not deemed to have been formed, a would-be client may nevertheless believe that he or she is communicating with the prospective lawyer in confidence for the purpose of obtaining legal services; if that belief is found to have been a reasonable one, the attorney may end up prohibited from disclosing any confidential information communicated.
This new live, interactive workshop is designed to help lawyers be more alert to the vulnerabilities they may face in various non-office settings, and to equip them with best practices for defining their roles up front, and setting clear boundaries with the person seeking advice. With the aid of three original film vignettes depicting three all-too-common challenging scenarios, participants will have an opportunity to identify their own particular areas of potential exposure, and to develop proactive strategies for navigating these situations with less risk and greater peace of mind.