Broadcast Date: Thursday, September 22, 2022
from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm (ET)


Handling complex situations ethically and with professional responsibility remain challenging for legal practitioners. Some of the pressing ethical dilemmas in the legal landscape involve attorney-client privileged communications, protection of confidential information, and the ethical considerations stemming from the use of technology. Any violation of ethics rules may not only result in criminal prosecution but can significantly damage the lawyer’s reputation.

Today, lawyer ethics is placed under immense pressure. Thus, legal practitioners should be well-versed in their ethical and professional obligations in every critical area of their legal practice.

Listen as experienced legal practitioners Randy Johnston (Johnston Tobey Baruch) and Jim Doppke (Robinson Stewart Montgomery & Doppke LLC) provide a comprehensive discussion of the ethical and professional responsibility of lawyers. Speakers, among other things, will also offer essential tips and strategies to overcome critical challenges in the legal profession.

Key topics include:

  • Frequent Ethical Dilemmas for Lawyers
  • Ethical Considerations During Complex Situations
  • Handling Confidential Information and Protecting Attorney-Client Privilege
  • Practical Tips and Strategies to Avoid Legal Pitfalls
  • What Lies Ahead


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:

2.0 CLE

Speaker Panel:

Randy Johnston, Shareholder
Board Certified in Civil Trial Law
Consultant - Legal Ethics and Malpractice

Johnston Tobey Baruch

Randy Johnston is the author of the book Robbed at Pen Point. He concentrates his law practice on legal malpractice and professional liability. He is a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American Board of Trial Advocates. He served as an adjunct professor of law in 2015 at the UNT School of Law where he taught Professional Responsibility. He was the 2016 Trial Lawyer of the Year for the Dallas Bar Assoc. and received the 2017 Jim Bowmer Professionalism Award from the Texas Bar College.

Jim Doppke, Partner
Experienced Legal Ethics Advisor and Litigator

Robinson Stewart Montgomery & Doppke LLC

James A. Doppke, Jr. is a partner in the Chicago firm of Robinson, Stewart, Montgomery & Doppke, LLC. He concentrates his practice in professional responsibility issues of all kinds, including disciplinary defense and bar admissions. He also consults with clients on numerous ethical issues, including business or firm formation and multijurisdictional practice. Jim was Senior Counsel for the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission from 1999 to 2013. There, he handled the investigation and prosecution of numerous attorney misconduct matters, trying many cases to their conclusion. He has also participated in presenting many MCLE- and PMCLE-accredited programs on legal ethics issues, including a series of presentations on the ethics of e-discovery. Prior to working for the ARDC, Jim worked for three years a staff attorney at the Will County Legal Assistance Program, representing indigent clients in housing, consumer, and family law matters. Jim is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and he received his B.A. from the University of Notre Dame.


Segment 1

Randy JohnstonShareholder

Johnston Tobey Baruch

  1. Covid trials – Something New under the Sun
    • Decorum issues: where were you sitting, what are you wearing.
    • Technology cost – must have x, y, z and changing.
    • Sophistication req’d: muting, inadmissible document.
    • Civility issues: no face-to-face interaction in future?
    • Witness coaching: Notes, laptops, phones, breaks etc.
    • Cross exam of runaway witness: interrupting?
    • Open to public/Others in the room w/ witness, juror? Live broadcast by others? Privacy concerns ?
    • Juror attention: use of phones, television, children
    • Juror pressure from spouses.
    • Loss of Majesty for courts and the profession.
  2. Conflicts representing entities-some things never change.
    • ABA Rule 1.13
    • Creating a new entity with money guy and idea guy
    • 90% of new businesses fail
    • Problems with the LLCs: unincorporated associations
    • Directions from CEO that disadvantage minority owners
    • Documents, bills, etc. as evidence
  3. Sex with clients-some things never changed!
    • Does your State have a rule? Texas does not.
    • ABA 1.8j: “relationship is almost always unequal”
      • chicken and egg approach: which first?
    • Miscellaneous factors matter:
      • anyone married,
      • sex in the office,
      • discounted bills,
      • hero worship,
      • care if disclosed
    • More than one person can be motivated to file a grievance.
  4. Representing couples-who do you trust?
    • “We want X and not Y.”
      • Do you call the other to confirm?
    •  50% of marriages ended in divorce
      • may be adverse someday
      • 90% when there is a death of a child.
    • Biggest trap is for estate planners.
      • closer to one of the spouses than the other?
      • More likely to take the word of one?
    • Is past practice of the couple a defense?


Segment 2

Jim DoppkePartner

Robinson Stewart Montgomery & Doppke LLC

  1. Working remotely across state lines
    • Liberalizing trend began during early pandemic
    • Now several ethics opinions expressly approving of practice
    • Caution: “holding self out”
  2. Virtual Practice – ABA Op. 498
    • Precautions re confidentiality and supervising employees
    • Special focus on data security and trustworthiness of software/devices/networks
    • Maintaining systems for paper/checks/files
  3. Proposed changes to Rule 5.5
    • Enhancing lawyer mobility
    • Helping to close access-to-justice gaps
    • Complications for regulators (enforcement), practitioners (competition), and consumers?
  4. Accepting fees from third-party payors
    • May be even easier/more common in remote work
    • Rule 1.8(f)
      • informed consent
      • no interference with the lawyer's independence of professional judgment or client-lawyer relationship
      • information relating to representation of a client is protected as required by Rule 1.6.
    • how to protect information/privilege
    • how to ensure professional judgment remains independent
    • What if payor stops paying?

Date & Time:

Thursday, September 22, 2022

12:00 pm to 2:00 pm (ET)

Who Should Attend:

  • Lawyers
  • Legal Assistants
  • Paralegals
  • Law Clerks
  • Law Office Managers
  • General Counsel
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Randy JohnstonShareholder
Board Certified in Civil Trial Law
Consultant - Legal Ethics and Malpractice
Johnston Tobey Baruch
Jim DoppkePartner
Experienced Legal Ethics Advisor and Litigator
Robinson Stewart Montgomery & Doppke LLC



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