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Ending the Attorney-Client Relationship: Best Practices to Avoid Ethics Violations and Malpractice Claims

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, August 23, 2018

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide attorneys and firms with a clear overview of the ethical considerations in terminating a client relationship in various select situations. The panel will outline post-termination obligations and best practices for smoothly concluding the attorney-client relationship.


Every attorney has had a difficult client they find they must “fire.” When terminating the client relationship, the attorney and the firm face a situation fraught with professional, legal and legal ethics risks.

An attorney may decide to terminate a client relationship due to a client’s refusal to follow the attorney’s advice on crucial matters such as responding to discovery; an unethical, hostile or abusive client; or a client who refuses to pay fees.

An uncooperative client is more likely than others to file a disciplinary grievance or malpractice charge. To minimize ethics violations and malpractice risks, careful adherence to legal ethics rules of conduct and other practical considerations are critically important.

Listen as our authoritative panel of attorneys guides you through the complex ethical considerations when firing a client and offers best practices for avoiding ethics violations and malpractice claims.



  1. Termination of attorney by the client
  2. Termination due to attorney conflict of interest
  3. Termination under cloud of legal malpractice
  4. Terminating client for nonpayment of fees
  5. Terminating client for improper conduct
  6. Termination after an attorney’s departure from the firm


The panel will review these and other high risk questions:

  • What ethical rules govern specific trigger events for terminating the relationship—and when do attorneys have discretion to fire the client?
  • What should the termination notice to the client say and how much advanced notice should be provided to the client?
  • What are the attorney’s continuing fiduciary duties to a client post-termination?


Jackson, Kim
Kim M. Jackson

Bovis Kyle Burch & Medlin

Mr. Jackson defends attorneys and other professionals in malpractice claims, handles all forms of coverage and bad...  |  Read More

Zavieh, Megan
Megan Zavieh

Zavieh Law

Ms. Zavieh focuses exclusively on attorney ethics, providing full and limited scope representation to attorneys facing...  |  Read More

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