New live programs in South Carolina in partnership
with South Carolina Bar CLE
Pre registration through South Carolina Bar CLE
Ethics – two hours credit – Landmines on the way to the top and how to avoid them
Ethics – one hour credit – Night Falls Fast
General – three hours credit – Trial Preparation – Winning your case
If you should have any questions during the program or afterwards, please call me at either (919) 326-9070 or (919) 889-7316.
Ethics and Professionalism
Night Falls Fast – Online Course Description
This is a one hour inter-active online program that concentrates on Mental Health issues and in particular depression. The speaker, Jim Blackburn, a former North Carolina lawyer for over twenty-three years, in 1993, spent one week in Duke Psychiatric Hospital and emerged with a diagnosis of a major depressive disorder that included a diagnosis of mon-mania, one step below manic depression or what is now called a bi-polar disorder.
For over three years, Jim Blackburn regularly, once a week, participated in intensive therapy sessions with his Doctor. Mr. Blackburn, during this program, discusses his situation in detail with specific references as to the causes, treatment, and eventual recovery of his depression.
Depression is rampant in the legal profession, regardless of the state in which the lawyer practices. In today’s high stress environment, it is even worse than it was in 1993, when Mr. Blackburn was first diagnosed with it.
Depression is a tough illness. The stigma attached to it is still great. It is difficult to get better. But it is very possible for depression is very treatable. Lawyers need to be aware of its symptoms, and how they can live their lives and practice law in a way that can minimize the chances they will get ill.
This one hour presentation is a very personal journey through that illness and the effects it had on Mr. Blackburn’s legal career and personal life. It is done with the goal of helping other lawyers recognize the potential for disaster such an illness can have on them, and hopefully help them stay well.
Time Schedule – Because this is an online program, it is difficult to give an hourly time. It is presented for one hour without a break. It is online and inter-active in the sense that specific questions are asked of the participants, and they must submit those questions and proper answers to Mr. Blackburn before he will issue a Certificate of Attendance to either them or the South Carolina Bar. Once they have done that, then the Certificates will be issued.
Landmines on the Way to the Top and how to Avoid Them
Ethics and Professionalism – Online Program
The program is a very detailed and personal study of Ethics and Professionalism as told by someone who was very successful in the practice of law, both in government and private practice before getting himself into serious legal and ethical difficulties, losing his law license and spending years in private counseling and psycho-therapy.
Specifically, the program studies the requirements that a lawyer represent clients to the best of his or her ability, communicating regularly and effectively with the client, including meetings and phone calls on a regular basis, the necessity of maintaining complete honesty with the client at all times, being zealous and passionate in that representation, maintaining the dignity and high standards of the legal profession, and doing all of this on a timely basis.
Essentially, this program is a personal study of the Rules of Professional Conduct, telling the audience what he did wrong, what led to those mistakes and how lawyers today can keep themselves from similar situations.
Specific points discussed are:
· Passion in the practice of law
· Legal preparation for the client
· Honest and straightforward advice for the client
· Ethical dealings with other lawyers and the court
· Communicating regularly with the client – (returning telephone calls)
· Honesty in dealing with money and fees from the client (a study of trust accounts)
· Dangers to the lawyer if violations of ethical conduct occur – both criminal and Bar investigations
· Consequences to the lawyer for violations – loss of law license…loss of freedom
· Making certain that every client is treated the same with a high degree of professionalism and passion
· Requirements that all writings and verbal communications with a client and court are honest
In addition, in recognition that lawyers are in a high stress environment, there is a detailed discussion of the mental illness of depression, how it can come about and how it can affect lawyers and their performances and conduct, what should a lawyer do if he or she is suffering from depression, what are the symptoms specifically to lawyers, how other lawyers should react to someone suffering from depression and finally how to get better.
There is a discussion as to how to survive the adversities of practicing law and making the occasional mistakes – that is – the requirement to accept responsibility quickly and completely.
The goal of the program is to show what can happen to anyone if he or she is not careful in obtaining protection from the dangers of violating Ethical Rules for Lawyers. The goal is to make lawyers realize more fully the responsibilities they have with respect to their clients.
I present the program in my own personal story of years ago in how I went to the top of the legal profession in North Carolina and then fell quickly and completely. I discuss the danger and warning signs to lawyers, and how they can prevent what happened with me from happening to them.