"You're a lawyer, right?" Seemingly innocuous words, but when said at a cocktail party, family gathering, or even in a hallway or elevator at the courthouse, they pose a genuine challenge, don’t they? We want to use our training to help folks, right? After all, isn’t that at least a part of why many of us went to law school?
And yet, how many times has a conversation that began with those very words turned out to be the source of tremendous trouble? Beyond the obvious risk of getting sidetracked from the social occasion in which one is supposed to be participating, or the task one is trying to accomplish, there lurk even greater dangers. As some poor, unfortunate souls have learned, if a lawyer is not careful in responding, he or she may inadvertently create a professional relationship, without intending to do so--leaving the lawyer potentially exposed to a malpractice claim. And even if an attorney-client relationship is not deemed to have been formed, a would-be client may nevertheless believe that he or she is communicating with the prospective lawyer in confidence for the purpose of obtaining legal services; if that belief is found to have been a reasonable one, the attorney may end up prohibited from disclosing any confidential information communicated.
This new live, interactive workshop is designed to help lawyers be more alert to the vulnerabilities they may face in various non-office settings, and to equip them with best practices for defining their roles up front, and setting clear boundaries with the person seeking advice. With the aid of three original film vignettes depicting three all-too-common challenging scenarios, participants will have an opportunity to identify their own particular areas of potential exposure, and to develop proactive strategies for navigating these situations with less risk and greater peace of mind.
Michael Kahn, M.ED. Counseling, J.D., ReelTime CLE
Michael Kahn is a "recovering lawyer," having practiced for 6 years with the New Jersey Attorney General's office. He is a licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Oregon, and his psychotherapy practice has focused on helping clients deal with anxiety, depression, grief/loss, career satisfaction, and men's issues. He co-facilitates grief groups for lawyers in Oregon and Vancouver, BC. Michael presents training seminars and workshops on ethics, grief, wellness, diversity and inclusion and other topics throughout the U.S. and abroad, including for the U.S. military in Germany and Japan. He also is a professional coach and provides assistance with career issues, stress management, retirement, and coping with change.
Chris Osborn, Esq., ReelTime CLE
In addition to his ongoing work with ReelTime CLE, Chris Osborn is a former law professor, and the founding principal of Osborn Conflict Resolution, which provides Superior Court mediations, as well as collaborative law approaches for family law, construction, business, and will and probate disputes throughout North Carolina. Chris is trained as a collaborative lawyer, and is a member of the North Carolina Civil Collaborative Lawyers Association. He has been certified by the N.C. Dispute Resolution Commission as a Superior Court mediator since 2009, and has assisted the vast majority of his legal clients over the years to reach amicable resolutions in a wide variety of litigation matters, including business breakups, construction and employment law disputes, and will caveats. His full professional bio can be found here.
ReelTime Creative Learning Experiences was formed in 2007 in response to a fairly daunting challenge: developing and presenting seminars on ethical decision-making and mental health/substance abuse awareness for lawyers. As we soon learned, that's not only a pretty tough crowd to please, but some of the most daunting subject matter to address and make interesting. Needless to say, we had our work cut out for us.
We met that challenge by leveraging both our love of good movies and our unique backgrounds (Chris' experience as a practicing lawyer and former law school professor, and Michael's as a psychotherapist and former lawyer) to create a unique facilitated workshop format that would engage attendees and treat them as active participants in the learning process. Our basic hope was simply to provide an enjoyable learning experience, and perhaps by doing so to earn the right to challenge unhelpful modes of thinking, promote greater self-awareness about decisions and their consequences, and connect the participants to their colleagues as valuable resources for encouragement and support.
Over ten years later, we are humbled and amazed at how much fun we have had, how much we ourselves have continued to learn, and how appreciative folks have been about our workshops around the U.S., Canada, and even Australia. As it turns out, that "tough crowd" really likes coming to a workshop and being treated as if they have something to offer, instead of just being talked at. (Well, most of them do.) And our approach to ethical decision-making and other dreaded topics appears to have resonated with folks because we flat out refuse to concede that any topic has to be mind-numbingly boring.
Our programs are suitable for "tough crowds" and daunting topics in all kinds of industries and contexts because we address the universal human behavioral dynamics that are almost always in play--whether an organization is aiming for better regulatory compliance, or trying to improve its diversity and inclusion initiatives, or managing any other kind of change or employee behavior.
Marshall Cole, Esq.
Marshall is a trial attorney at Nemecek & Cole. He has extensive experience representing licensed professionals, including lawyers. Prior to joining Nemecek, Marshall was an associate with the law firm of Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard and Shapiro.
Amanda Moghaddam, Esq.
Amanda Moghaddam is a Claims Attorney at Lawyers Mutual Insurance of California where she educates and assists attorneys with ethical and legal issues. She was previously with the law firm of Nemecek & Cole.