Broadcast Date: Wednesday, April 28, 2021
from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm (ET)


The spread of the coronavirus has massively disrupted the way lawyers fulfill their obligations to their clients. From work-from-home set-up to virtual proceedings, lawyers had to adjust to the new means of working.

However, pandemic or not, one thing does not change – lawyers’ ethical duties. Regardless of whether who is ill or which courthouse is closed, lawyers’ ethical obligation to put their client’s interest first remains. A plethora of issues creates an ethical minefield for lawyers who, therefore, need to put a straightforward plan in place to ensure that they and their clients are protected.

In this webcast, lawyers and other legal industry professionals will learn how to meet their ethical duties during a pandemic and beyond. The speakers will cover the applicable rules of conduct, state regulations, and effective compliance strategies.

Key topics include:

  • Ethical Dilemmas Arising from COVID-19
  • Lessons Learned
  • Considerations to Take in Various Areas of Ethics:
    • Communication
    • Diligence
    • Competence
    • Confidentiality
    • Supervision
    • Payment (Accepting Advances and Payments via Online Apps)
  • Risk Mitigation Strategies
  • Meeting Your Ethical Obligations – Best Practices During a Pandemic/Crisis


Course Level:



Advance Preparation:

Print and review course materials


Method of Presentation:

On-demand Webcast (CLE)





Course Code:



NY Category of CLE Credit:

Ethics and Professionalism


Total Credits:

1.5 CLE

Speaker Panel:

D. Culver “Skip” Smith III, Shareholder
Culver Smith III, P.A.

D. Culver “Skip” Smith III counsels and represents lawyers, law firms, and others on ethics, professional responsibility, professional disciplinary proceedings, disqualification and sanctions motions, malpractice, and loss prevention. He also serves as an expert witness in litigation involving such matters. In addition, he counsels and represents applicants for admission to the bar. He provides more than forty years of experience in the field. Mr. Smith is a past president of the Palm Beach County Bar Association and served two terms on The Florida Bar Board of Governors. He is a member of The Florida Bar Professional Ethics Committee (which issues advisory ethics opinions) and twice served as its chairperson. He has written and lectured extensively on lawyer ethics and professional responsibility.

Paige Tungate, Attorney
Downey Law Group LLC

Paige Tungate is an attorney licensed in Missouri and Illinois, and practices in legal ethics and lawyer discipline defense. Since joining Downey Law Group in May 2017, Paige has worked on a wide range of legal and professional ethics matters.

Mikhail Reider-Gordon, LL.M., Managing Director, Institutional Ethics & Integrity
Affiliated Monitors Inc.

Professor Mikhail Reider-Gordon, LL.M., is Managing Director of Institutional Ethics & Integrity at Affiliated Monitors, Inc. She serves as an independent integrity monitor on a wide-range of matters to corporate and public entities under court-order and regulatory settlement agreements. Ms. Gordon’s practice areas of expertise include anti-corruption; anti-money laundering; technology and privacy compliance; ethics and accountability; the public sector and international law. Prof. Gordon began her professional career at the RAND Corporation and then moved to government, prior to returning to the private sector.
Since 2015, she has been on faculty at the International Anti-Corruption Academy in Austria.
Ms. Gordon holds several leadership positions with the American Bar Association.  She is a Council member and the Operations Officer for the International Law Section. She previously served as the Section’s Technology Officer and Rule of Law Officer. She is a Senior Advisor to the International Anti-Corruption Committee which she formerly Co-Chaired.  She is also Senior Advisor to the National Security Committee and is past Chair of the Section’s Anti-Money Laundering Committee; She co-chaired the Working Group on Beneficial Ownership Transparency.  She also serves as Vice-Chair of the Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Committee within the ABA’s Science & Technology Law Section. She served as the Chair of the greater ABA’s Task Force on Gatekeeper Regulation and the Profession; and served on the ABA’s Standing Committee on Technology and Information Systems.



Paige Tungate, Attorney

Downey Law Group LLC

Ethical Considerations When Working Remotely

  • Unauthorized Practice of Law
    • Physically working from a state where the lawyer is not licensed
    • Model Rule 5.5
  • Duty to Supervise
    • Staff/non-lawyers filing pleadings/giving legal advice without lawyer involvement
    • Model Rule 5.3
  • Conflicts of Interest
    • Lawyers of firm are working separately from each other, and not checking conflicts with each other.
    • Model Rule 1.7
    • Model Rule 1.10
  • Competent and Diligent Representation
    • Lawyer has trouble concentrating while working from home and lackadaisically throws together documents for client and hopes client signs
    • Model Rule 1.1
    • Model Rule 1.3
    • Other considerations:
  • Communication with client – 1.4
    • What happens if lawyer gets sick with COVID and cannot work for a period of time?
    • What happens if the client gets sick?


D. Culver “Skip” Smith III, Shareholder

Culver Smith III, P.A.

Accepting Advances and Payments via Online Apps

  • Requiem for checks—proliferation of web-based payment applications
  • Some designed for lawyers, others not
  • Operate in different ways
  • Issues for lawyers: confidentiality and safeguarding entrusted funds
  • Ethics opinions to date (WA, SC, NC)
  • Confidentiality:
  • The issue—risk of disclosure of confidential info.
  • The solution
  • Safeguarding entrusted funds:
  • The issue: online payment-service accounts noncompliant with trust-account rules
  • The solution


Mikhail Reider-Gordon, LL.M.,  Managing Director, Institutional Ethics & Integrity

Affiliated Monitors Inc.

  • Use of technology when working remotely
  • Duties to maintain requisite knowledge, skills and risks associated with relevant technologies
  • ABA Model Rules: Technologically enabled law practice
  • Ransomware, hacks and privilege for law firms
  • Privacy laws: Privileged, Confidential and PII data
  • Emerging risks to law firms and practice

Date & Time:

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

3:00 pm to 4:30 pm (ET)

Who Should Attend:

  • Lawyers
  • Legal Assistants
  • Paralegals
  • Law Clerks
  • Law Office Managers
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D. Culver “Skip” Smith IIIShareholder
Culver Smith III, P.A.
Paige TungateAttorney
Downey Law Group LLC
Mikhail Reider-Gordon, LL.M.Managing Director, Institutional Ethics & Integrity
Affiliated Monitors Inc.



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