Pending CLE approval in Kansas and Missouri.
2017 Solo and Small Firm Conference
May 26 & 27, 2017
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER of GNGF
Using a strong blend of technology, marketing, consulting, and management experience gained from his eighteen years in the business world, Mark leads the GNGF team to deliver targeted and efficient results with high-touch service. Mark gained indepth business technology expertise at IBM and online marketing experience as a cofounder of the marketing technology leader eshots, inc. He also has experience in the legal industry from his years in Product Marketing for iManage (now HP Autonomy). Mark has delivered presentations to business owners of all kinds, from small business owners to executive partners of Fortune 500 companies. When not managing the day to day operations at GNGF, Mark can usually be found coaching little league or trying
to brew up another batch of craft beer.
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Friday, May 26 Schedule:
(schedule will be updated as information becomes available)
8:00 AM ● Continental Breakfast and Registration
9:00 AM ● Ethics of Data Security
Mark Homer, GNGF, Cincinnati, Ohio
For lawyers and clients, the question is no longer “if” but “when” technology systems will be compromised. Lawyers must understand the risks associated with the use of technology, information, and their clients’ data. New rules do not require you to become a data-security expert, but when issues do come up a lawyer should learn how to competently advise clients while properly safe-guarding their data infrastructure. This session will cover some recent data security breach cases. Throughout the session, we’ll discuss an attorney’s ethical obligations to clients both before and after data-security issues arise. The layers duty to protect a client’s confidential information (1.1 Competence) and the ethical issues surrounding maintaining client confidential information in the face of email breaches, poor on-site server security, relaxed passwords protections or wifi issues (1.6 Client-Lawyer Relationship: Confidentiality of Information).
9:50 AM ● Break
10:00 AM ● Breakout Sessions
1) Avoiding Tax Traps in Settlements and Awards
Susan Berson, Berson Law Group LLP, Overland Park, KS
From wrongful death to securities fraud, personal injury, and employment discrimination lawsuits, a lawyer’s big win or settlement for a client brings tax questions about the payout consequences. This presentation will cover what a non-tax lawyer needs to know about how settlement and damage awards are taxed. Because the lens of the Internal Revenue Code may scrutinize both the payor and payee when analyzing tax consequences of a payout for a settlement or damage award, this presentation is intended for both plaintiff and defense counsel. Tips for pre-screening client matters to determine whether opportunities exist to minimize the tax hit on a recovery or payout will be addressed during the presentation. Situations where knowledge of the taxation consequences may help bridge the settlement gap between otherwise robust litigants to achieve a settlement in mediation will also be discussed. Finally, helpful information about how the IRS audit procedures approach settlements and awards will be covered.
2) HR 101 for the Solo and Small Practice
John Dietrick, Creative Business Solutions, Topeka, KS
There are many legal issues facing attorneys in solo and small firm practices other than the practice of law. This program will address Human Resources (HR) issues which lawyers inevitably face when starting or growing their practices- HR compliance; HR documentation; applicable federal and state laws; employee handbooks and the NLRA; background checks;social media; on-boarding and terminating- this program will offer practical advice to help attorneys focus on what they do best-the practice of law.
10:50 AM ● Break
11:10 AM ● Breakout Sessions
1) Tips and Tricks for Legal Research on Casemaker
Sara Rust-Martin, Kansas Bar Association, Topeka, KS
This course is designed to enhance your legal research skills on Casemaker, the Kansas Bar Association’s free online legal research tool, by covering the basics of Casemaker and providing advanced tips for your legal research to maximize your search results and minimize your time spent researching! Come see how to use the new CaseCheck+, CiteCheck and the Casemaker Digest tools.
2) Fee Agreements
Kimberly "Kim" Knoll, Office of the Disciplinary Administrator, Topeka, KS
This CLE presentation will address the attorney fee basics, as provided for under Kansas Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5; refunds to third party payors; and recent legal authority addressing flat fees in Kansas.
12:00 PM ● Lunch Provided
1:00 PM ● Most Common Ethics Mistakes Lawyers Make When Marketing Their Practice (100 minutes)
Mark Homer, GNGF, Cincinnati, Ohio
The year 2017 is here, and many things have changed with concerns to your online presence. We will walk you through the ethics of establishing a successful online marketing presence and show you how to utilize Avvo, Google, social media, and other tools that can boost your firm’s online prowess without violating Kansas’s Rules of Professional Conduct. Also, included is guidance on prospects contacting your firm and there is a conflict (1.7 Conflict of Interest: Current Clients), managing shared information that a lawyer must disclose (3.3 Advocate: Candor Toward the Tribunal) and communicating with a person who is already represented (4.2 Transactions with Persons other than Clients: Communication with Person Represented by Counsel).
2:40 PM ● Break/Exhibit Hall
3:00 PM ● Legislative Update
Joseph " Joe" Molina, III, Kansas Bar Association, Topeka, KS
This course will provide attendees with an up-to-date list of all legislative proposals that affect the practice of law in Kansas. The update will briefly explain pending legislation, provide background information pertaining to the interest group involved in the legislation and a provide the current status of each proposal. Attendees can expect to learn more about the legislative process and as well as how to contact their representative.
3:50 PM ● Break
4:00 PM ● How to Advise Clients, Manage Judicial Holds and Discovery with Social Media
Mark Homer, GNGF, Cincinnati, Ohio
This course outlines how to properly advise your clients about the risks and liabilities when they use social media networks. We will also discuss using social media as evidence and understanding judicial holds. To date 25 states have adopted a version of the ABA Model Rule 1.1: Competence comment  that includes the word “technology”. It is clear that it won’t be long before lawyers are required to understand the basics of how social media platforms functions. In reality, if you want to effectively advise your clients on the impact of their behavior, you need to have a clear understanding of how social media platforms work. If you are going to trial, you may need to be able to communicate about various social platforms. There will be discussion on the confusion around new technology and how they intersect with discovery and possibly evidence. Also, how to avoid surprises with evidence, managing examination of witnesses and authenticating evidence and hearsay will be discussed.
4:50 PM ● Break
5:00 PM ● Breakout Sessions
1) Criminal Voir Dire: "Tell Me About That"
Joseph "Joe" Huerter, The Law Firm ofTenopir & Huerter, Topeka, KS
How to discover “doubt” that a prospective juror can act impartially and other voir dire techniques will be discussed.
2) Recognizing When Too Much is Too Much in Family Law
Steven Henry, The Henry Law Firm, Overland Park, KS
Ashlyn Yarnell, Ronald W. Nelson P.A., Overland Park, KS
Family law is an area of practice fraught with high emotion, poor communication, “emergencies,” and sometimes dangerous situations. Clients look to their attorney for not only advocacy, but also for counsel. Before diving into a chaotic matter, have you considered your ethical obligations to care for yourself? To appropriately assist your client? And to know when to refer a matter out, or to find third-party assistance in the case? This seminar is targeted for practitioners who occasionally ‘dabble’ in family law all the way to practitioners with an exclusive family law practice. We will explore available resources for the practitioner to manage oneself, to assist in the management of client expectations, and taming conflict so that high-conflict cases do not consume your practice and your private life away from the office.
5:55 PM ● Day One Adjourns
6:00 PM ● Reception
Saturday, May 27 Schedule:
8:00 AM ● Sunrise Breakfast
9:00 AM ● 50 Tips in 50 Minutes
Angel Zimmerman, Zimmerman & Zimmerman PA, Topeka, KS
Larry Zimmerman, Zimmerman & Zimmerman PA, Topeka, KS
This fun and fast-paced session will teach you how to exceed client expectations, better manage your human resources, improve your bottom line and use technology to achieve results more cheaply, more efficiently and most important ethically. Learn how you can more effectively communicate with clients and provide them with more professional service, manage tasks and deadlines with ease, run productive meetings, deal with thorny HR issues, and motivate your staff.
9:50 AM ● Break
10:00 AM ● E-filing and Technology 101L A Primer for E-Filing and Tech in Your Practice
Angela Meyer, Meyer Law Firm, Pittsburg, KS
Since the creation of E-Flex and the electronic filing system and its implementation statewide, attorneys have been forced to evolve and adopt digital filing practices and adapt to new ways of practicing and new technology. This program will provide an introduction to the electronic filing system with helpful tricks and tips for navigating the system and the practice of law. Additionally, with this transition has also come a variety of different resources, software, hardware and other technology to enhance the practice, increase efficiency, and to provide a very user-friendly access to technology for attorneys, staff and clients. This program will explore resources available to have a “tech-friendly” practice that doesn’t break the bank and explore “must have” items in the digital age.
10:50 AM ● Break
11:00 AM ● Wrapping It Up
Anne McDonald, Kansas Lawyers Assistance Program, Topeka, KS
Give yourself a present: wrap up your law practice beautifully so that you have no worries and clients have happy memories of your superb services. Being proactive gives you control over the process – the who, the when, the how it happens. As more and more members of the legal profession age, it just makes sense that the number of lawyers afflicted with age-related conditions will grow. And anyone of any age can have an accident or suffer from an unanticipated medical situation that prevents him or her from properly tending to the practice for an extended time.
We will look at just 4 parts of this topic today:
1. Proper preparation for the anticipated, and the unexpected, termination of a law practice
2. How to step in and cover or wrap up a practice
3. The ethical obligations of the lawyer, the firm or colleagues, the court, and the lawyer who steps in, voluntarily or under Rule 220.
4. The roles, if any, for Discipline, KALAP and SOLACE.
11:50 AM ● Break
12:00 PM ● Using Technology Ethically in Your Law Practice
Danielle Hall, Office of the Disciplinary Administrator, Topeka, KS
Technology has become an important part of a modern law practice. Lawyers use technology to do everything from sending communication, storing documents, and even processing payments. However, lawyers should not only be able to recognize when to use technology to provide legal services effectively, but also understand how to use that technology responsibly and ethically. The first ethical duty of a lawyer is to practice competently, which includes understanding and managing technology in the law office and, while using it, ensuring client confidences. During this seminar, we will discuss some of the risk and benefits associated with using technology, as well as your ethical obligations when using technology in your practice.
12:50 PM ● Conference Adjourns. Lunch is provided
A room block is available at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Lawrence for Wednesday, May 25 thru Saturday, May 27. Please call the DoubleTree at (785) 841-7077 and reference the Kansas Bar Association or to reserve a room online click here: http://group.doubletree.com/kansasbarassociation. The room rate of $119 plus tax will be available until Thursday, May 4.