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An outside attorney investigator licensed in California is now happily living near her family outside of Chicago. The investigator received a call from a Nevada employer to investigate a complaint by a complainant who is working remotely from Indiana where the inappropriate conduct took place. This scenario highlighting multi-jurisdictional issues is the reality for many external attorney investigators. Are there things to consider before accepting the engagement? Absolutely. Here are a few things to consider: Does a particular state have laws as to which third parties are authorized to conduct investigations? Is fact finding in a particular jurisdiction considered the practice of law? Is conducting a fact-finding interview considered the unauthorized practice of law in a jurisdiction where the attorney is not licensed? What avenues are available for attorney-investigators to perform legal services remotely or temporarily in a jurisdiction in which they are not licensed to practice? What risks can the external attorney investigator create to a client if they do conduct the investigation? Come attend this webinar and hear two national ethics experts walk you through the many issues, obstacles and analyses that attorney investigators need to consider before saying “yes” to conducting a multi-jurisdictional investigation.
1. Understand the laws that impact external investigators
2. Learn how to properly word your engagement letters
3. Recognize multi-jurisdictional issues for limited scope engagements
California MCLEs: 1.0
Mark L. Tuft is a Certified Legal Malpractice Specialist (California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization) and a partner with Womble Bond & Dickinson – US LLP. He serves as outside counsel to lawyers, law firms, and public and private organizations on the law governing lawyers, including professional responsibility, professional liability, law firm mergers and dissolutions, attorney sanctions, and State Bar admission and discipline. He also acts as an expert witness and consultant in these matters. His practice includes legal malpractice and first amendment litigation. He also serves as an arbitrator and mediator in lawyer-client and law firm disputes. Mr. Tuft has served on several California State Bar Commissions on revisions to the Rules of Professional Conduct and the State Bar's Task Force on Access Through Innovation of Legal Services. He is a former Chair and special advisor to the California State Bar Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct and served on State Bar task forces on multidisciplinary practice and amendments to the rules of professional conduct. Mr. Tuft has taught professional responsibility as an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law. Mr. Tuft is a member of the ABA Center on Professional Responsibility and currently chairs its editorial board. He is a past president of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers and a member of the American Law Institute. Mr. Tuft is a frequent lecturer and writer on professional responsibility issues and has received several teaching awards. Mr. Tuft is coauthor of The Rutter Group California Practice Guide: Professional Responsibility and is the 2022 recipient of the California Lawyers Association Harry B. Sondheim Professional Responsibility Award for his long-term work in advancing attorney professional standards in California.
Trisha Rich is a partner at Holland & Knight, where she serves as co-chair of the firm’s national Legal Profession Team, and concentrates her practice in legal ethics, professional responsibility law, and commercial litigation. Her legal ethics practice focuses on representing lawyers, law firms, in-house counsel, and legal tech companies on a wide variety of professional regulation and legal ethics issues, including legal malpractice, partnership and corporate structuring, law firm management and employment issues, fee disputes, conflicts and disqualifications, confidentiality, privilege, attorney disciplinary defense, and character and fitness proceedings. She advises both law firms and lawyers on ethical and fiduciary issues related to lateral hiring, law firm dissolution and expulsion matters, and she serves as an expert witness on legal ethics and professional responsibility matters. In her commercial litigation practice, Trish represents national and international companies, small and mid-size businesses, and individuals in all types of disputes and litigation.
Trish is a national leader in the legal ethics community. She serves as the President of the nation’s largest legal ethics bar association, the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, and teaches legal ethics at New York University School of Law. Trish is a frequent speaker and author on legal ethics, risk management, and regulatory reform issues. She played a key role on the 2020-21 CBA/CBF Task Force on the Sustainable Practice of Law & Innovation, and has twice served on Law360’s Legal Ethics Advisory Board. She is also the author of the Chicago Bar Association’s ethics column, Practical Ethics. Prior to becoming a lawyer, Trish taught practical and theoretical ethics at two universities.
Allison West, AWI-CH, is an employment attorney and a frequent top-rated speaker at HR, industry and diversity conferences around the country. She is a noted expert on investigations and workplace issues and has appeared on NPR and CBS This Morning discussing workplace harassment issues. For over 20 years, Allison has specialized in conducting investigations for employers of all sizes and industries, delivering and customizing interactive workplace related training, coaching executives and managers who have engaged in misconduct, and serves as an expert witness. Allison is a Charter, Sustaining and former Board Member of the Association of Workplace Investigators (AWI) and has served as junior faculty at the AWI Institute. She was on the ASIS Technical Committee which created international ANSI Standards for investigations in a final publication entitled Managing the Investigative Process – Guidance on Conducting Investigations. Allison is a member of the State Bar of California and holds a Senior Professional in Human Resources and SHRM-SCP certification.
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