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Christine Morganti, (505) 797-6028

cmorganti@nmbar.org

State Bar to Host National Workshop on Client Protection

Albuquerque, N.M.—The State Bar of New Mexico and the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of New Mexico are sponsoring the 2011 National Client Protection Organization Fall Workshop Oct. 4–5 at the Buffalo Thunder Resort and Casino in Santa Fe.

Representatives of client protection organizations from around the country are invited to attend the two-day annual workshop which will give participants the opportunity to share best practices, challenges, and current issues. Client protection has become a mainstay throughout the country with every state providing the means for the public to receive reimbursement for losses caused by the dishonest conduct of lawyers. These organizations play a vital role in their communities by giving consumers a viable remedy when attorney misconduct has resulted in monetary loss. Despite the high standards of ethical conduct required of and generally maintained by attorneys, there are and will be a very small number of lawyers who are not worthy of the trust that their clients place in them. All state bars maintain a strong disciplinary system for the purpose of reprimanding, suspending or disbarring lawyers who violate the strict standards of professional conduct. However, the profession recognizes that a disciplinary system alone is not enough, and that it is desirable to maintain a client protection fund to assist the public with effective action when lawyers mishandle their clients’ funds.

Justices Edward L. Chávez and Richard Bosson, both of the New Mexico Supreme Court, will welcome attendees to New Mexico. Additional speakers include John Holtaway and Selina Thomas of the American Bar Association and leaders of client protection organizations from around the country: Dan Hendi, New Jersey; Tim O’Sullivan, New York; Kathy Peifer, Pennsylvania; Eileen Donahue, Illinois, Ed Ehler, New Jersey; Ruby Cochran, New Jersey; Fred G. Miller, New York; and Patrick Roberson, Maryland.

The workshop will focus on issues that affect the administration of client protection funds, including a discussion of the stress encountered by attorneys, scams and what can be done, what happens when an attorney with an active practice dies, dealing with attorneys with dual roles such as insurance brokers or financial planners, case management systems, and protecting a fund’s reserves. In addition, a town hall meeting will enable participants to exchange ideas.

New Mexico, with one of the smallest funds in the country due to the size of our legal community, is honored to be the host of this year’s workshop.

Visit http://www.nmbar.org/Attorneys/CPF/NCPOWorkshopAgenda.pdf to the full schedule.
Note: News media are welcome to attend and cover this event. Please notify Christine Morganti, cmorganti@nmbar.org or (505) 797-6028 if you plan to attend.

The State Bar of New Mexico was organized in 1886 and is composed of more than 8500 members. Its purposes are to aid the courts in administering justice and preserving the rule of law, and to foster a high standard of integrity and competence within the legal profession.