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Ethics of Identifying Your Client: It’s Not Always Easy

November 8, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

The first step in every ethics analysis is answering the question, who is your client? It’s seemingly a very easy question to answer, but it’s not always 20/20 except in hindsight. Representing multiple parties on the same matter, whether in litigation or on a transaction, may mean you have many clients, some or all with conflicts. If you’re a private practitioner and you represent an organization, your client may be the entity, its officers from whom you are taking directions, or possibly both. If you’re an in-house attorney, the analysis – and its implications for the attorney-client privilege – becomes even more complex. This program will provide you with a real world guide to ethics of identifying your client in a variety of settings avoiding conflicts of interest with the client.

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


• Ethics and identifying your client and avoiding conflicts in transactions and litigation
• Representing businesses entities, nonprofit associations, and the government – client v. person giving directions
• Identifying clients in trust and estate planning – the testator or the person paying your fees?
• Special ethical challenges and ethical risks for in-house counsel and attorney-client privilege issues
• How to untangle clients and conflicts in joint representations – managing conflicts and information flows
• Best practices in documenting client representation to avoid later challenge


Elizabeth Treubert Simon, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP – Washington, D.C.

Thomas E. Spahn, McGuireWoods, LLP – McLean, Virginia