Date/Time: Tuesday, April 24, 6:00 – 8:15 p.m.

The FCBA Professional Responsibility Committee will sponsor a CLE on Tuesday, April 24 from 6:00 – 8:15 p.m. entitled “Ethics in a Changing World.”  The program will be held at a location to be determined in Washington, DC.

The FCBA has applied for 2.0 hours of MCLE Ethics credit from the VA State Bar.  Approval is pending.


6:00 – 6:05 p.m.         Welcome and Introductions

6:05 – 7:05 p.m.         Staying Ethically Grounded Through Lateral Comings and Goings

The panelists will discuss ethical issues you should consider when changing firms, or when hiring lateral attorneys, how to safeguard the firm’s client base and client confidentiality when a colleague leaves, and the rules governing notification to clients when leaving a firm. The following topics will be discussed:

  • How and when should a departing lawyer (or the firm) notify existing clients? Who has the right to the client’s file? What happens if the client owes money? Can a lawyer be guilty of dishonesty in taking clients or other staff in a lateral move? Of misconduct in “abandoning” a client? What about the lawyer’s right to compete?
  • What imputed conflicts apply when an attorney changes firms, either with clients or without clients? Do jurisdictions differ on this question?
  • Would ABA Rule 1.6 on client confidentiality or various state permutations (or lack thereof) ever preclude an incoming attorney from disclosing client information for purposes of screening conflicts?

7:05 – 7:15 p.m.         Break

7:15 – 8:15 p.m.         Adapting to New Technology as an Ethical Attorney

The experts will discuss the requirements for staying technologically up-to-date, valuable digital tools for the competent attorney, some of the pitfalls in using social media, and the use of social media in adversarial cases.  The following topics will be discussed:

  • What are the affirmative obligations to use new technology to make legal service and support more accessible? Does the bar writ large have such a duty?
  • How do the ethics rules apply to the use of social media by attorneys in their practice? What are the duties to use technology affirmatively and to defend against its adverse use in representing clients?
  • What boundaries do ethics place on using social media to market or promote legal services?
  • Are there geographic limitations that lawyers must heed now that technology makes practice anywhere possible?
  • How do attorneys handle technology changes happening faster than bars can issue ethical guidance?

Confirmed speakers:

Arthur D. Burger, Jackson and Campbell, P.C.; Chair, Professional Responsibility Practice Group

Marni E. Byrum, McQuade Byrum, PLLC, President-Elect Designee, Virginia State Bar; Former Chair, Virginia State Bar Standing Committee on Legal Ethics

Charles Davant, Partner, Williams & Connolly LLP; Chair, District of Columbia Court of Appeals Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law

Bernard J. DiMuro, Managing Partner, DiMuro Ginsberg; Past President, Virginia State Bar; Former Chairman, Virginia Supreme Court Disciplinary Board


Amy Richardson, Partner, Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis, LLP; Co-Chair, Professional Responsibility Practice Group


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