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Ethics of Co-Counsel and Referral Relationships

June 18, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Co-counsel and referral relationships are common in law practice. Lawyers associate with other lawyers on cases to gain specialized knowledge required for competent representation in a case. Litigation counsel may seek “local counsel” on a case in another jurisdiction. Lawyers also refer out business for a variety of reasons, including overflow work or work outside of a lawyer’s core competencies. These any many other co-counsel and referral relationships, however, raise substantial ethical and malpractice issues. This program will provide you with a framework for understanding the ethical issues surrounding co-counsel and referral relationships and the personal liability that may arise from them.

Handout Materials will be emailed to you prior to the seminar
1.0 MCLE Credit Hours, including 1 ethics hour


• Duty to supervise counsel to whom you have referred work
• Ethical issues in fee splitting in co-counsel or referral relationships
• Ethical issues of associating with other lawyers or firms to gain competence in specific areas
• Liability to co-counsel for breaches of fiduciary duty or malpractice
• Liability for errors of co-counsel
• Duty to inform of malpractice by co-counsel


Brian S. Faughnan, Thomason Hendrix Harvey Johnson & Mitchell, PLLC – Memphis

William Freivogel, Freivogel Ethics Consulting – Chicago