Legal Ethics Counsel

Legal ethics rules, and strict compliance with all ethical guidelines, is a critical part of practicing law. But it can be difficult to interpret and to apply the legal ethics rules in the context of compliance systems, daily practices, and real-world legal ethics dilemmas. We provide independent, confidential counsel to analyze and resolve legal ethics issues, to review and analyze your firm’s systems and practices to ensure compliance and best practices, and to ensure that your firm’s most sensitive information remains confidential. 

Law Firm Risk Management

Every day, law firms help their clients manage risks, and as all law firms come to know, there are many risks that firms themselves face. In all legal proceedings, there are deadlines to be met and documents and sensitive information to be closely guarded. Attorneys within a firm, no matter how experienced they may be, make mistakes. Unforeseen conflicts arise. Unhappy clients, at times without any basis, sue for professional negligence or file complaints with regulators and the California State Bar. Risks lurk around every corner, but with smart planning they often can be avoided. When risk turns into reality, negative consequences can be mitigated through swift, strategic action.

Law Firm Formation and Dissolution

Proper planning is a key component of any successful law firm or attorney transition. It is also a key element to ensuring the long-term success and viability of any legal practice—big or small.  To be competitive in today’s legal market, each aspect of the firm’s management has to be working together and pointing in the right direction. The partnership agreement, policies and procedures, compliance systems, compensation systems, succession planning, and exit plans are all part of a whole, ideally, and should be viewed that way so that they are synchronized toward achieving the firm’s goals. Your business performance depends upon it.

Partner Departure Law

The Firm’s California Partner Departure practice is unique among California firms. We provide counsel for law firms handling partner and group departures and for lawyers and groups departing a firm. For law firms faced with partner or group departures, we provide a detailed roadmap for protecting the firm’s business and the firm’s property, helping to minimize the impacts of partner or group departures.  For partners departing a partnership, we provide a comprehensive solution– from pre-departure considerations, to departure logistics, to anticipating and resolving partnership obligations and getting paid, and, when necessary, litigating any partnership disputes that may result from a departure – to ensure a successful transition to your new partnership.  

Partnership Disputes

Partner departures often implicate issues that can be flashpoints for disputes—amounts owed to the departing partner or group, amounts owed to the firm, whether the departing partner or group improperly solicited firm clients or employees, whether departing partners or groups improperly took the firm’s property, to name just a few. By definition, a partnership dispute arises between parties who know each other well, and who have been close colleagues, and perhaps also good friends, for some time. So partnership disputes can have a unique emotional component.

As experienced trial attorneys, we litigate and arbitrate partnership disputes for lawyers and for law firms throughout California. Because our practice is focused on California law firms, we have a wide range of experience representing partners and law firms in partnership disputes, including deep experience in the partnership laws and legal ethics rules that will govern the disputed issues, and unique insights into what works, what doesn’t, what is appropriate, and what is not.