Sign In


Download Schedule at-a-Glance

Thursday, October 25, 2018

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Conference Registration

8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. - 10:25 a.m.

Opening Plenary: Negotiation Origami: Five Key Skills to Improve Your Negotiation Effectiveness

The most effective negotiators use a variety of skills and techniques depending on the context, their negotiation counterpart, and the client. Want to add their methods to your own negotiation toolbox? This session will show you how to develop and use:

  • Assertiveness
  • Empathy
  • Flexibility
  • Social intuition
  • Ethicality

Using micro exercises and frameworks, you'll learn how to build on these skills and know when to use them for negotiation success.

Presented By:

Andrea Kupfer Schneider
Director of Dispute Resolution Program, Marquette University Law School

10:25 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.

Refreshment Break

10:40 a.m. - 11:55 a.m.

Plenary: Women in the Law: A Candid Discussion

If you know, employ, work with, or are a female lawyer, don't miss this lively panel discussion tackling the issue of women leaving the legal profession in growing numbers.

While women have made significant gains in the legal field over the past half century, recent indicators suggest they often leave the profession entirely - taking their skills, institutional knowledge, and contacts with them. Why are women leaving and how can we change this? What's missing in our profession for women? What can we as attorneys do to better support one another?

Gain a blueprint to strengthen your firm and support every member of your team with insights on:

  • How women's roles have evolved
  • Present-day communication styles
  • Firm cultures
  • Overcoming unconscious and perceived biases
  • Strategies to attract and retain top female content

Presented By:

Stephanie L. Melnick (Moderator)
Melnick & Melnick SC

Gail C. Groy
Axley Brynelson LLP

Ann S. Jacobs
Jacobs Injury Law SC

Hon. JoAnne F. Kloppenburg
Wisconsin Court of Appeals District IV

Rachel Monaco-Wilcox
Rachel Monaco-Wilcox LLC

11:55 a.m. - 12:55 p.m.

Lunch and Grand Opening of Legal Expo. Lunch compliments of Habush, Habush & Rottier, S.C. and FindLaw.

1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Plenary: What You Need to Learn NOW to Be Ready For 2023

So much has changed since 2013. Same-sex marriages became legal in Wisconsin. Limited scope representation rules were created. Wisconsin lawyers couldn't get enough CLE about how the Affordable Care Act exchanges would impact their practices. Social media was here to stay - and could make or break your case.

Your practice probably looks quite different today than it did back in 2013 - and it'll undergo even more changes by 2023. In this provocative TED-inspired plenary, ten practitioners will each have six minutes to give their take on what law practice will look like in five years and how you can stay ahead of the curve. Journey into the future of:

  • Competing against a growing number of DIY legal services
  • Transforming attorney-client relationships
  • The shift to virtual law practice
  • How clients will pay their legal bills
  • The growing importance of self-care
  • Evolving ethics issues and rules
  • And much more

Hang on to your seat - this fast-paced plenary is packed with insights and will give you plenty to think about. Don't miss it!

Presented By:

Nerino J. Petro, Jr. (Moderator)
The Erickson Group

Hon. Daniel Kelly
Wisconsin Supreme Court

Aviva Meridian Kaiser
State Bar of Wisconsin

Jeffrey S. Krause
Affinity Consulting Group

J. David Krekeler
Krekeler Strother, S.C.

Mark C. Metzger
Law Office of Mark C. Metzger

Odalo J. Ohiku
Law Office of Odalo J. Ohiku

Thomas J. Watson
Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co.

Shannon Yocum

2:30 p.m. - 2:55 p.m.

Refreshment Break – visit the Legal Expo and get your passport signed to be entered to win great prizes!

2:55 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Management of Client Intake in Elder Law

As the Baby Boomer generation grows older and life expectancies increase, more people need help preparing for the future with comprehensive plans that protect their quality of life and assets. Effective client intake that identifies and addresses a client's main objectives helps worried, uncertain clients feel secure and satisfied. Attend this session to improve your intake process with:

  • Specialized intake outlines and checklists for elder law issues
  • Tailored questions to increase your intake efficiency
  • Advice for establishing trust through sensitivity
  • Tips for providing practical and cost-effective service

Presented By:

Kate Knowlton
Knowlton Law Group LLC

Pat Jenkins, RN, BSN, MS
Care Coordinator (retired)


Suddenly I Have a Team! Now What?

If you’re knee-deep in admin work, you can’t practice law. So you hire an admin, a bookkeeper, and then a paralegal. But how do you make these people into a team? Welcome to potentially the most rewarding (and frustrating) thing about being a business owner - your team! When they do well, you can grow exponentially. When they don't, you're stuck playing the micromanager.

Discover the 5 secrets to building a winning team:

  • Leadership
  • Common goals
  • Rules of the game
  • Action plan
  • 100% involvement and inclusion

Presented By:

Kory Dogs
ActionCOACH Business & Executive Coaching

Mitch Mostardi
Lift Consulting, A Sandler Sales Company


We've Been Hit! Common Threats, Best Practices, and What to Do When Ransomware Strikes

Know why hackers have been using ransomware since 2005? Because companies continue to be fooled by and fall victim to it. Is your law firm prepared to repel hackers and damaging cyberattacks?

Explore the common security threats targeting your law firm's sensitive information. Learn why it’s essential to go beyond technology solutions and properly train the humans in your firm. Plus, find out how to weather the storm if, despite best efforts, your firm is hit with ransomware.

Presented By:

Brent J. Hoeft
Hoeft Law, LLC


Setting Proper Client Boundaries: Helpful Tips, Apps, and Wellness Advice

Where do you draw the line between serving your clients and maintaining a healthy work-life balance? Setting appropriate boundaries at the very first client meeting helps ensure suitable limits for your role in the representation. Discover practical tools and techniques for setting realistic boundaries with your clients.

Presented By:

Christopher C. Shattuck
State Bar of Wisconsin

Mary Spranger
State Bar of Wisconsin


3:45 p.m. - 4:10 p.m.

Refreshment Break – visit the Legal Expo and get your passport signed to be entered to win great prizes!

4:10 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Brain Compatible Content: How to Create Messages That Parallel the Brain’s Processing of Information

Did you know that even something as simple as line breaks can drastically change the way people read and absorb written communication? Cognitive-based Information Design (CID) teaches you how to share information the same way the brain processes it, making you a more effective communicator. See below for how this session would be described using CID:

Learn how to create text communication that engages readers,
builds accurate understanding, and can be easier to recall.
In this session, you’ll discover how to improve your communication
using Cognitive-based Information Design (CID) – a technique that presents
information the way our brains actually process it.

Imagine the advantages:

  • Low-stress emails that avoid cognitive overload
  • Communication that
    • builds trust through transparency with clients
    • provides clarity for judges & juries

To preview, visit

Presented By:

Phil Ransom
The CID Group, LLC

W. Lou Tetlan
The CID Group, LLC


Urban Pioneers: Bridging the Gap from Law School to Rural Practice

Rural Wisconsin is in dire need of new lawyers. With fewer lawyers working in rural areas and many of those that serve smaller communities reaching retirement age, people in non-urban areas are having to travel farther for legal services or go without counsel altogether. The State of Wisconsin, the State Bar of Wisconsin, and Wisconsin's two law schools say it's time to do something about this crisis.

Hear from a panel of practicing lawyers in Tomah and Monroe as well as the from University of Wisconsin Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic as they discuss:

  • How to attract young lawyers to rural practice
  • How to prepare your law firm to support young lawyers
  • New initiatives at the University of Wisconsin

Presented By:

Jeffrey M. Glazer
U.W. Law & Entrepreneurship Clinic

Penny J. Precour
Mubarak and Precour, S.C.

Todd W. Schluesche
Kittelsen, Barry, Wellington, Thompson & Schluesche, S.C.


Cyber Insurance 101: What You Need to Know to Protect Your Practice

When your best-laid cyberattack preventions fail, it's cyber insurance to the rescue! Discover why cyber insurance is becoming affordable, commonplace, and the smart choice to protect your practice. Learn the basics of cyber insurance policies, including key coverage terms, conditions, and exclusions. In addition, explore various types of coverage for:

  • Liability
  • Regulatory fines
  • Extortion
  • Business interruption
  • Breach response
  • And more

Presented By:

Tom Widman
Identity Fraud, Inc.


Expanding Your Practice Ethically: Tips and Traps

Ready to grow? Make sure you do it right. Understand the ethical issues of enlarging your practice through referrals and new practice areas. Explore the ethics of:

  • Jointly representing a client
  • Referring a prospective client to another attorney
  • Discussing representation with a potential client
  • Creating an attorney-client relationship

Presented By:

Dean R. Dietrich
Dietrich VanderWaal, S.C.

Timothy J. Pierce
State Bar of Wisconsin


5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Attendee Reception in the Legal Expo

Enjoy hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine, and soda compliments of WILMIC and West Bend Mutual Insurance. Cash bar also available.


6:30 p.m.

Optional Dine Arounds

Friday, October 26, 2018

7:45 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Legal Expo is Open - Today is your last chance to meet with companies that can help your practice.

7:45 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Conference Registration - Be sure to sign in each day!

7:45 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Deluxe Continental Breakfast - Compliments of Hupy and Abraham, S.C.

8:45 a.m. - 10:15 a.m.

Plenary: Taming the Digital Chaos! Time, Task, Email & Distraction Management

Emails. Instant messages. Phone calls. Walk-in interruptions. Social media notifications. The average American worker is interrupted every 2-3 minutes. Do you feel like you work a 14-hour day but only have a few billable hours to show for yourself by 5 p.m.?

Learn the habits and techniques to make technology your servant (not the other way around) and gain control of your work day and personal life. Discover the skills to become more focused and less overloaded with techniques to:

  • Deal with distraction
  • Manage your time
  • Efficiently organize your tasks
  • End the endless emails
  • Make Outlook do more for you
  • Automate documents and processes

Presented By:

Paul J. Unger
Affinity Consulting Group

10:15 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Refreshment Break - Last chance to visit the Legal Expo and get your passport signed to enter to win great prizes!

10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

The Dreaded “B” Word – Bankruptcy Basics for the General Practitioner, Trivia Style

Learn just the right amount of information to navigate the basic elements of bankruptcy, even if you’ve never filed a bankruptcy or represented a party in a bankruptcy proceeding. This fun, fast-paced trivia competition uses real-world scenarios involving bankruptcy filings that a solo or general practitioner would likely encounter.

Gather a group of colleagues to play as a team or go “solo.” There will even be prizes for the top three winners!

Experienced bankruptcy, insolvency, and creditor’s rights attorneys will provide an overview of:

  • Chapters of bankruptcy
  • What to look for in the notice of bankruptcy filing
  • The key players in a bankruptcy filing
  • The automatic stay in bankruptcy – what it is and how NOT to violate it
  • How your clients can exercise and protect their rights if they're an interested party in a bankruptcy filing
  • Discharge of debts and exceptions to dischargeability

Presented By:

Eliza M. Reyes
Krekeler Strother, S.C.

Jennifer M. Schank
Fuhrman & Dodge, S.C.


Own Your Practice – Without it Owning You

Almost every law practice fits into one of three mindsets: Great Lawyer, Practice Growth, or Market Leader. Do you know which one describes yours? These mindsets are powerful - they dictate what you can and can’t accomplish in your law firm.

Making the commitment to a new mindset can help you build your practice without grinding yourself into dust. Learn about the three major law firm mindsets and how changing yours can create a world of new opportunities for you.

Presented By:

Mark C. Metzger
Law Office of Mark C. Metzger


Extreme Makeover: Law Firm Website Edition

If you keep pushing your firm website to the back burner, it won't be the site your firm deserves. Did you know Google is starting to push non-mobile-ready websites down in search rankings? Do you have unintentional ethical violations lurking because you let the “experts” build your site? Do you have any web traffic (and can you even tell)?

Come to this session for an extreme makeover! Learn about:

  • Elements of a good law firm website
  • What should and shouldn't be on your site
  • How to make your site appealing
  • How to work with a web designer to make it a reality

Presented By:

Catherine Sanders Reach
Director, Law Practice Management & Technology, The Chicago Bar Association


An Ethics Fee for All

It's back by popular demand! Attorney fees are a minefield of ethical missteps that you need to anticipate. How do you ensure you get paid for the work you perform while complying with the Rules of Professional Conduct?

This panel discussion will continue last year's analysis of trouble-filled topics, including:

  • Fee agreements
  • Engagement letters
  • Scope of representation
  • Advances
  • Third-party payments
  • Security for fees
  • Guaranties
  • Charging interest
  • Ensuring fees are reasonable
  • Contingent fee agreements
  • Limited scope representation

In addition, learn how to address the risk of a legal malpractice counterclaim in response to filing an action to collect fees.

Presented By:

Brian C. Anderson
Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Co

Aviva Meridian Kaiser
State Bar of Wisconsin

J. David Krekeler
Krekeler Strother, S.C.


12:00 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Networking Lunch and Presentation of the 2018 Lederer Award

(Please indicate attendance when registering for the Conference) Luncheon sponsored by M3 Insurance and the Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section.


1:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

Feeling lucky? Passport to prizes and exhibitor drawing winners will be announced in the Expo Hall

1:45 p.m. - 2:35 p.m.

Intellectual Property Law for Business Owners

Who owns your firm's logo? What about your web content? Learn to spot the most common intellectual property (IP) issues business owners like you and your clients face. The presenters will discuss:

  • Distinctions between different forms of IP
  • Protections afforded by each type of IP
  • Proactive strategies to prevent ownership disputes when employees or vendors create IP for a business

Presented By:

Garet K. Galster
Smith Keane LLP

Melissa A. Spindler
Smith Keane LLP


Building your Solo and Small-Firm Attorney Dream Team

Attending a conference like WSSFC is about more than simply getting your required CLE credits. It's about building and strengthening your connections - creating a team of fellow practitioners you can turn to when the need arises. This panel discussion will give you a game plan of actions to take before, during, and after events just like this one to build your solo and small-firm dream team.

Presented By:

Timothy J. Cody
Daniels & McAvoy, S.C.

Erin R. Ogden
Ogden Glazer + Schaefer

Spencer X. Smith
Spencer X. Smith Consulting


The Mobile Lawyer Toolkit

What do a law office, home office, car, courtroom, meeting space, coffee shop, and law library have in common? Thanks to today's technology, they're all places you can work. In fact, practicing while mobile is a necessity for today’s lawyers. Come learn the tools and tricks that make practicing on-the-go easier and more efficient.

Presented By:

Brent J. Hoeft
Hoeft Law LLC

Christopher C. Shattuck
State Bar of Wisconsin


Oh What Tangled Webs We Weave… Ethical Dilemmas in Estate Planning

Feeling tripped up by ethical complexities in estate planning? Learn how to untangle common ethical conundrums with trusted advice on approaching:

  • Defining who the client is
  • The client's best interests
  • Confidentiality
  • Conflicts between spouses
  • Attorney’s fees and retainers
  • Withdrawing from representation

Presented By:

Elizabeth Ruthmansdorfer
Moertl, Wilkins & Campbell, S.C.


2:50 p.m. - 3:40 p.m.

Disclosures, Deeds, and other Dirt

You're at a cocktail party when someone steps up to you saying, "Hey, you're a lawyer. I have a real estate question." Not your practice area? Get the goods on key real estate concepts in this insightful session so you're ready the next time someone approaches you asking for legal advice.

This is a real real estate cocktail. Muddle together some condition disclosures, add a jigger of easements and, after obtaining electronic consent, fill with deed considerations. Partition into two glasses and add olive juice. And maybe a twist.

We'll discuss:

  • Authentication and electronic signatures
  • Seller and real estate licensee disclosure requirements
  • Partitions and declaratory judgments
  • Escalation clauses
  • Inspections vs. testing

Presented By:

Liz Tobolt
Liz Tobolt, LLC

Carol E. Krigbaum
Krigbaum Law LLC


Establishing a Compensation Structure for Associates and Staff

Once you have the right people on your bus, how do you establish a compensation structure that's fair, competitive, and performance motivating? Find out where to start in establishing a compensation structure for your team. Discover how to set a formula for associates to ensure that compensation is commensurate with production. Learn how to help your team set and meet billable goals. Plus, see how a combination of base plus performance can provide the right motivation.

Presented By:

J. David Krekeler
Krekeler Strother, S.C.

Sarah L. Ruffi
Ruffi Law Offices SC


PDF Essentials: What Lawyers Need to Know and Why

PDF is the file format of choice for exchanging documents with clients, other lawyers, and the courts. That's why it's important to understand the uses, risks, and benefits of PDFs. Know how to work with PDF files more effectively by learning about:

  • Metadata removal
  • Document security
  • Redaction
  • Bates numbering
  • Collaboration features
  • Pros and cons of different PDF applications

Presented By:

Nerino J. Petro, Jr.
The Erickson Group

Bryan Sims
Sims Law Firm Ltd


A Roadmap to Behavioral Change

It's no secret that being a lawyer puts stress on your mind and body. If left unchecked, stress can lead to chronic pain, injury, and depression. However, deciding to take better care of yourself takes more than making up your mind - it requires you to change your behavior. The biggest hurdle to changing your behavior is free will.

This session provides a roadmap for setting your own health-related goals and techniques for addressing setbacks. Presenter Hope Wood combines her master’s degree in health studies with her personal experience as an attorney to give you the tools to make the necessary changes for a lifetime of less stress.

Presented By:

Hope Wood
Hope Wood JD, PLLC


4:05 p.m. - 4:55 p.m.

Navigating HR Myths and Landmines - What Every Nonemployment Lawyer Should Know

Want to help your business clients spot and avoid high-risk employment matters? Attend this session to learn the basics of employment law compliance and HR practice. Discover the riskiest employment law issues for companies, and walk away with practical HR tips for managing those situations when they arise. You'll learn from a presenter with more than 20 years of experience in employment law as outside counsel, inside counsel, and employment attorney mediator.

Presented By:

Jill Hamill Sopha
Sopha Mediation LLC


50 Tips in 50 Minutes

It's a WSSFC favorite! Hear dozens of practical tips and tricks for getting things done better, faster, and maybe even cheaper in this fast-paced, dynamic session. Panelists will share insights and techniques you can start using right away. Don't miss it!

Presented By:

Brent J. Hoeft
FirmLock Consulting LLC and Hoeft Law LLC

Jeffrey S. Krause
Affinity Consulting Group

Nerino J. Petro, Jr.
The Erickson Group

Catherine Sanders Reach
The Chicago Bar Association

Christopher C. Shattuck
State Bar of Wisconsin

Bryan Sims
Sims Law Firm Ltd.

Spencer X. Smith
Spencer X. Smith Consulting


Can I Survive For a Day… Using ONLY My iPad?

The answer is yes! Most people don’t realize that an iPad is so much more than a simple content consumption device. Don't believe us? You will after we demonstrate its many real-world uses. Discover how to use your iPad to:

  • Access the court’s digital order entry system in court
  • Retrieve rules and research
  • Compile your research into briefs
  • Manage your calendar and contacts
  • Write and edit documents in Microsoft Word
  • And so much more

Presented By:

Mark C. Metzger
Law Office of Mark C. Metzger


Your Pre-Flight Checklist for an Organized Practice

Feeling grounded by too much work, too little time, or just a disorganized mess? Take flight with a treasure trove of helpful checklists, flowcharts, and processes that will put you back on course. Presenter Ryan Seib is a pilot who knows how important a good checklist can be. Presenter Erin Ogden is an ex-lab rat who loves flowcharts and methods. Together, they'll provide examples, tips, and tricks on how to fly into the clear blue sky of a more organized practice.

Presented By:

Erin R. Ogden
Ogden Glazer + Schaefer

Ryan R. Seib
Horn & Johnsen, S.C.


5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Hospitality Suite – Enjoy wine and refreshments sponsored by Krekeler Strother, S.C. and Smith Keane LLP (Dinner on your

Saturday, October 27, 2018

7:00 a.m. - 10:50 a.m.

Conference Registration – Be sure to sign in each day!

7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

7:30 a.m. - 8:20 a.m.

Plenary: Gadgets, Gizmos, and Widgets

Whether you want tips for getting more from your favorite gadgets or are looking for the coolest gizmos to put on your Christmas list, don't miss this conference favorite! This speedy session is sure to make you smile with a look at the lighter side of technology. Discover how you can maximize your gizmos and gadgets to make your law practice and your life easier.

See why attendees get up early to grab a seat at this session. Plus, treat yourself to something special from our gourmet coffee bar before things get started.

Presented By:

Nerino J. Petro, Jr.
The Erickson Group

Bryan Sims
Sims Law Firm Ltd

8:30 a.m. - 9:20 a.m.

10 Ways to Contest a Will, Trust, or Pre-Death Transfer and Prevent a Contest

That's final ... or is it? Learn how to challenge or contest a will, trust, gift, or beneficiary designation after the decedent’s death. We'll explore:

  • Differences between medical and legal competency to execute and complete transactions
  • Tests for undue influence
  • Other claims that can be made over the decedent’s assets after death

In addition, discover what drafters can do to reduce the likelihood of contests.

Presented By:

Alexander L. Ullenberg
Ullenberg Law Offices SC


Culture Chicken, Brand Egg - Which Comes First?

A company's culture is critical to its success; so is its brand. But which comes first? Does an existing culture create a true brand, or do you need a brand before establishing a sustainable and scalable culture? That's the topic of this session in an eggshell.

Look at real-world examples of established and startup companies that have succeeded (or failed) in creating a strong company culture and brand. Uncover the secrets to building a culture aligned with your corporate mission, embraced by your employees, and completely true to who you are and the way you do business.

Presented By:

D.P. Knudten


What You Didn’t Know MS Word Can Do

Lawyers spend much of their days in the ubiquitous word processor, Microsoft Word. But familiarity can breed contempt. Come find out tips, techniques, and add-ons to stop fighting with documents and make them work for you instead! We'll explore:

  • Easy ways to master formatting, pagination, and document automation
  • Collaboration, versions, and permissions through Office 365
  • Powerful add-ons to make your writing clear, concise, and error-free

Presented By:

Catherine Sanders Reach
Director, Law Practice Management & Technology, The Chicago Bar Association

Bryan Sims
Sims Law Firm Ltd


Taking the Leap: Practical Matters in Running a Solo Practice

You've taken the leap (or want to) to start a solo practice. Once the decision is made, there are many more choices to consider as you set up shop. Attend this interactive session to see what has worked - and what hasn't - for others who've taken the leap. As requested by last year's attendees, this guided roundtable discussion goes in-depth on:

  • Client management
  • Scheduling
  • Finding new clients
  • Avoiding isolation
  • Deciding whether to hire support staff

Presented By:

William Bratcher
Bratcher Law Office LLC

Kimberly A. Henderson
Henderson Law Office

Aiden Tharp
Williamson & Siler SC

Sarah Slice Yacoub
Slice Law Inc


9:20 a.m. - 9:50 a.m.

Break/Hotel Check-out

9:50 a.m. - 10:40 a.m.

Achieving Success in Sexual Harassment Cases: A Plaintiff Lawyer’s Perspective

Receive an overview of sexual harassment law and practice tips from a plaintiffs' lawyer. Learn how to:

  • Choose good cases
  • Gather pre-suit information
  • Navigate procedural requirements
  • Manage discovery
  • Defeat summary judgment
  • Anticipate settlement and trial issues

Presented By:

Amy F. Scarr
Amy F Scarr SC


Five Steps to a Successful Law Firm Succession Plan

You love practicing law as a solo/small-firm lawyer, but whether you’d want to or not, you can’t do it forever. Succession planning can be a challenge, but it’s important to find someone who can take over for you and prepare them to do so – even if you don’t think you’ll need a replacement for quite some time. This session walks you through the process from start to finish and discusses the five components found in every successful succession plan.

Presented By:

Jeffrey S. Krause
Affinity Consulting Group


Document Automation Made Easy: Tips, Tricks, and Tools for Everyone

It's time to take your practice to the next level and make your life easier at the same time. Stop with the "search and replace" and start using tools that automate document production - including some you already have. Find out how to use tools already present in MS Word and WordPerfect to quickly start building automation into your documents. Plus, learn about third-party tools that can simplify the automation of more complex documents and help you avoid the malpractice risks of search and replace.

Presented By:

Michael F. Brennan
The Virtual Attorney

Nerino J. Petro, Jr.
The Erickson Group


Interactive Ethics: What Would YOU Do?

How would you handle some of the pressing ethical issues facing solo and small-firm lawyers every day? Would you make the right choice? What would your fellow practitioners do? Find out in this session.

Bring your cell phone, tablet, or laptop with you to vote on what you think is the right call to make in various ethical conundrums. The presenters will then go through each example to discuss it within the context of what is moral and what is allowable under the Rules of Professional Conduct. Walk away feeling more confident to face your next ethical issue.

Presented By:

Katherine R. Kruse
Mitchell Hamline School of Law


10:50 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Plenary: The Top Six Things Solos and Small Firms Can Do to Avoid Disciplinary and Malpractice Claims

When presenter Allison L. Wood opened her ethics consulting firm in 2011, 90 percent of lawyers disciplined in Illinois were solo or small-firm practitioners. Solo and small-firm lawyers are just as hard working, competent, and passionate about helping their clients as practitioners in larger firms. So why all the discipline?

In a solo or small firm, the practitioner is responsible for everything - marketing, obtaining clients, servicing clients, billing, collecting fees, and managing finances. On top of that, they must keep up with their primary practice area, understand new technology, and try not to post anything wrong on social media. And they do it all without the support and resources typically available in larger firms that offer protection from professional liability mistakes.

The good news is: help is here! This session will help you assess your own propensity for professional liability risks plus give you six solid strategies to mitigate those risks. Learn effective tactics for:

  • Managing your practice
  • Maintaining competency
  • Managing client relationships
  • Managing client funds
  • Engaging in social media
  • Protecting your well-being

Presented By:

Allison L. Wood
Legal Ethics Consulting, P.C.