Continuing Legal Education

TELESEMINAR: Attorney Ethics in Adding Lawyers to a Firm – A National Perspective

May 16, 2013
12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
1.00 MCLE hours, including 1.00 Professional Responsibility MCLE credit hours (PMCLE credit subject to approval)


When a lawyer joins another existing law firm there are major ethical issues for both the lawyer and the law firm. The law firm must conduct due diligence on the lateral transfer – whether an associate or a partner – to ensure competence and uncover any history of ethical complaints in order to limit the firm’s exposure to liability. Sophisticated conflict checks not only of existing clients but also prospective clients of the lawyer and law firm need to be conducted. Steps must also be taken to ensure the preservation of the attorney-client privilege in ongoing matters as cases. There are also seemingly mundane but very important issues related to communications with clients an attorney hopes to bring with him or her to the new firm and file retention issues. This program will provide you with a real-world guide to the range of ethics issues for lawyers and law firms when lawyers join a new firm.


  • Framework of ethical issues when lawyers join a law firm
  • Essential due diligence by law firm on lawyer joining the firm, including ethics background checks
  • Sophisticated conflicts checks of new and potential client bases of lateral hire and the law firm
  • Preserving the attorney-client privilege on ongoing matters and confidentiality issues
  • File retention and communicating with old clients once a lateral transfer is made
  • Special issues when a solo practitioner joins a multi-lawyer firm
  • Issues related to malpractice insurance coverage
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Program Speakers:
Sue C. Friedberg
, Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, P.C., Philadelphia
Brian S. Faughnan, Thomason Hendrix Harvey Johnson & Mitchell, PLLC, Tennessee


*Professional Responsibility MCLE credit subject to approval


Sue C. Friedberg is a partner in the Pittsburg office of Buchanan, Ingersoll & Rooney, P.C. She is associate general counsel of the firm and responsible for guiding its attorneys in meeting the standards of ethical law practice. She supervises the firm's conflicts of interest review process and new business intake functions, and provides counsel for the firm as a business entity. Earlier in her career, she focused on corporate finance, securities law, and general business transactions. Ms. Friedberg earned her B.S., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Pittsburg School of law.

Brian S. Faughnan is special counsel in the Memphis office of Thomason Hendrix Harvey Johnson & Mitchell, PLLC, where he represents clients in a wide variety of matters at the trial level and on appeal. He counsels lawyers and law firms on a wide variety of issues surrounding legal ethics and professional responsibility. He is the chair of the Tennessee Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, a reporter for the committee’s rules revision project, a member of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, and a member of the Media Law Resource Center’s Ethics Committee. Mr. Faughnan received his B.A. from Rhodes College and his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Memphis School of Law.