I have a number of clients who I may hear from only a few times a year. In most cases, my clients are solos and small firm practitioners who occasionally need a sounding board and do not have the luxury of an in-house ethics counsel or other partners to brainstorm with. The State Bar has an ethics hotline that is available for many questions, free of charge. However, not all questions fit under their guidelines, and there are also times when you may wish to discuss your issue with your own personal ethics counsel.
Examples of the types of issues you may wish to discuss: fee agreements; third-party payers; potential bar complaints by angry clients; fee disputes; law related businesses; opposing counsel or opposing party disputes; conflicts questions; concerns about staff; reporting concerns (i.e., “do I have to report so and so to the Bar?); trust account questions; changing law firm questions; advertising questions; file retention or delivery; emotional, health or substance abuse issues.
This list is not, by any means, exhaustive. As we know, solos and small firm practitioners turn up in the discipline section of the Arizona Attorney considerably more often than lawyers in larger firms. This is not because solos and small firm attorneys are any less ethical than larger firm attorneys. There are many systemic reasons for this result, but one significant reason is simply the lack of support and the inability to walk down the hall and talk to another lawyer about a potential ethical problem. I provide that type of assistance for solos and small firms, at a reasonable rate.