Legal Ethics Issues When an Attorney Leaves the Firm

Managing Client Communications and Files, Work Product, Conflicts of Interest

A live 90-minute CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A

Thursday, June 24, 2021

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

Early Registration Discount Deadline, Friday, May 28, 2021

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE webinar will prepare law firms and practitioners for legal ethics issues that arise when an attorney leaves one firm for another firm. The panel will discuss critical topics such as client communications, property and work-product disputes, and conflicts facing the attorney and the new firm.


An attorney's transition from one firm to another is fraught with ethical pitfalls for the attorney and the firms. Legal ethics rules present some gray areas regarding the attorney's and the firm's obligations to clients, including notice to clients and business solicitation.

Disputes often arise between a departing attorney and a firm over whether the property belongs to the firm or the attorney. Both parties may also have opposing claims on client contact information, document templates, and other non-client work product.

An attorney changing firms must communicate some client information to the new firm for conflict review. The ABA's Standing Committee on Ethics issued Formal Opinion 09-455 to guide the timing and scope of disclosures and how the new firm may use the information received.

Listen as our authoritative panel guides you through the myriad legal ethics issues presented when an attorney leaves one firm for another firm and offers approaches to avoid ethical pitfalls during the transition process.



  1. Notice and communication
    1. Notice by departing attorney to the firm
    2. Notice by departing attorney to clients
    3. Notice by the law firm to clients
    4. Post-notice communications with clients
    5. Attorney solicitation of clients
  2. Property of firm vs. departing attorney
    1. Client files
    2. Attorney work-product
    3. Client contact information
  3. The obligation of departing attorney and new firm
    1. Conflict-check obligation by the new firm
    2. Disclosure of client information to a new firm
    3. ABA Formal Opinion 09-455: Disclosure of Conflicts Information When Lawyers Move Between Firms


The panel will review these and other critical issues:

  • What notice must a departing attorney and law firm provide clients--and when should this notice be given?
  • What actions should a law firm avoid after giving clients notice that an attorney is leaving the firm?
  • What rules govern a departing attorney's solicitation of a former firm's clients?
  • Is a departing attorney permitted to retain client contact information from a mobile device provided and paid by the former firm?
  • What must an attorney disclose to the new firm about former clients--and how may the new firm use this information?


Krauss, Geri
Geri S. Krauss

Managing Member

Ms. Krauss is a respected litigator and recognized expert on complex issues relating to professional partnerships....  |  Read More

Additional faculty
to be announced.
Attend on June 24

Early Discount (through 05/28/21)

Cannot Attend June 24?

Early Discount (through 05/28/21)

You may pre-order a recording to listen at your convenience. Recordings are available 48 hours after the webinar. Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include program handouts.

To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

CLE On-Demand Video