Fundamentals of Law Practice (Law 7336)
Spring Semester 2015

Link back to Course Home Page

Syllabus (as of March 27, 2015 )

Please bring your Domestic Violence Binder and laptop to every class.

"Starting Your Georgia Law Practice," Law Practice Management (State Bar of Georgia 2015) = LPM
Binder = Domestic Violence Manual handed out at first class

All writing and other projects assigned to prepare for a particular class are due at noon on the Tuesday preceding class unless otherwise indicated on the syllabus, to give the instructosr sufficient time to review before Friday class. You will generally have at least 10 days to work on each assignment. Unless otherwise indicated, submit assignments by emailing to both instructors and copy email to the appropriate Clio matter (e.g. Class-YourName or Field-YourName).

Key Dates:
Fieldwork Period Begins: January 26, 2015
Assignment 1: January 27, 2015 (plan for client meeting in Rice simulation)
Assignment 2:Noon, Tuesday, February 3, 2015 (Fieldwork Matter up do date)
Assignment 3: Noon, Thursday, February 5 (annotate Representation-Agreement(GSU) re Rules of Professional Conduct)
Assignment 4: Noon, Thursday, February 5 (part two of Rice exercise)
Submit Fieldwork Agreement signed by Fieldwork Attorney: Email to both instructors and cc to Fieldwork Matter or bring to class no later than Friday morning, February 6, 2015
Fieldwork Period Ends: March 12, 2015
Draft Fieldwork Report to Fieldwork Attorney for review: Per Fieldwork Agreement (but no later than Friday, March 13, 2015)
GSU Spring Break: March 14 - 22, 2015
Fieldwork Attorney Comments on Draft Report: Per Fieldwork Agreement (but no later than Monday, March 23, 2015)
Revised Fieldwork Report to Fieldwork Attorney for final approval: Per Fieldwork Agreement (but no later than Wednesday, March 25, 2015)
Fieldwork Attorney Signs Approval of Final Report: Per Fieldwork Agreement (but no later than Wednesday, April 1, 2015)
Final Fieldwork Report due to Professors Cunningham and Roberts: No later than 5pm on Friday, April 3, 2015

Protective Order Hearings::
1/23/15 Courtwatching: Cobb County Superior Court All Students (Chief Magistrate Frank Cox)
1/30/15: Admission to Student Practice, Hon. Conley Ingram, Senior Superior Court Judge - All 3L Students
2/13/15 Team 1: Kay Hill/Lauren Lester/Cunningham (Magistrate Judge Philip Taylor)
2/13/15 Team 2: Tori Leviton/Ivy White/Roberts (Magistrate Judge Philip Taylor)
2/27/15 Team 3: Sharon Connor/Alexis Person/Roberts (Magistrate Judge Philip Taylor)
3/6/15 Team 4: Clark Karell/Ashley Warmack/Cunningham
3/6/15 Team 5: Misha Cohen/Jerry Parisi/Roberts

Week 1 - Class on January 16

Course Overview

  1. Review course home page
  2. Instructions for fieldwork and blank fieldwork agreement (Word document)
  3. Read excerpts from two field reports written by prior students (the excerpts will be emailed separately)
  4. G.M. Filisko, "Turn-Around: Solos Seek Advice to Survive a Struggling Economy," ABA Journal 51-55 (March 2010)(note especially profile of Marietta solo practitioner at 54-55).

    Practice Management Tools


  5. History of the Clio web-based practice management tool
  6. Review on-line instructions for using Clio
  7. Skim index of Clio instructiona support resources
  8. Review Cio Privacy Policy at: http://www.goclio.com/privacy/
  9. Skim Clio Terms of Service at: http://www.goclio.com/tos/

    Practice Essential: Timekeeping


  10. Bilinsky & Best, Drafting Bills Clients Love to Pay, Law Practice Today: The Monthly Webzine of the ABA Law Practice Management Section (Nov. 2008) (6 pages)
  11. Georgia Formal Advisory Opinion 01-1: Is it ethically permissible to charge for a standard unit of time without regard to actual time expended? (2 pages)
  12. Galvez v Cuevas (S.D. Fla. 2009) (lawyer failed to keep meticulous, contemporaneous time records that revealed how hours were allotted to specific tasks; attorney fee award reduced by $11,250) (5 pages)
  13. In the Matter of Denise L. Majette (Supreme Court of Georgia March 28, 2014) (former state court judge [1993-2002] and Member of Congress [2003-2004] disbarred; did not keep contemporaneous time records but reconstructed time sheets and invoices from memory).
  14. Review Course Requirements for Recording Activity with Description and Time Expended

    Practice Essential: How do clients find lawyers to represent them?
  15. Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977) (established 1st Amendment right for attorneys to advertise)
  16. Falanga v State Bar of Georgia, 150 F.3d 1333 (11th 1998) (Georgia's rules prohibiting lawyers and their agents from soliciting professional employment from potential clients face-to-face and without invitation survives First Amendment commercial speech scrutiny)
  17. In the Matter of Anonymous, 775 N.E. 2d 1094 (Ind. 2002) (example of deceptive lawyer advertisement)
  18. Read Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, and 7.5
  19. Read Georgia Formal Advisory Opinion 05-6: Ethical propriety of lawyer advertising where the intent is to refer out to other lawyers.
  20. Read Georgia Formal Advisory Opinion 03-3: Is it ethically permissible for an attorney to enter into a “solicitation agreement” with a financial investment adviser?

    The Domestic Violence Landscape in Georgia

  21. Slain woman predicted her own death
  22. Stacey Dougan, Waiting for the bad guys to do more; Stephen D. Kelley & Peggy H. Walker Orders can protect, but help is needed (Atlanta Journal Constitution January 11, 2013 Page A14)
  23. 2014 Georgia Domestic Violence Fatality Review: Annual Report pp 31-48


    Week 2 - Class on January 23
    Interviewing, Establishing the Lawyer-Client Relationship, Representing a Petitioner for an Order of Protection in Cobb County
    Court Observation and tour of court offices and other agencies in Marietta

    Meet at the Manely Law Firm at 8:30 am to walk to Cobb County Courthouse
    The Manely Law Firm - The Justice Cafe
    211 Roswell Street, Marietta, GA 30060
    Free parking in behind building


  24. Smith on Patient-Centered Interviewing Foreword, Chapter 1 (all), Chapter 2 (all), and Chapter 3: pp. 29-55
  25. "Taking Notes," from Foonberg, How to Start & Build a Law Practice (pdf) (1 page)
  26. "Asking Questions," from Conference Skills (Inns of Court School of Law)
  27. Assessing for Lethality, Georgia Domestic Violence Benchbook, Appendix B
  28. Screening for Domestic Violence, Georgia Domestic Violence Benchbook, Appendix C
  29. Price Exercise 1
  30. John T. Phipps, New “limited scope legal representation” rule gives solo and small firm practitioners special opportunity to expand practice with “unbundled legal services", 38 General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Section Newsletter No. 5 (Illinois State Bar Association March 2010)
  31. Client Agreement form used by Cobb County Legal Aid for domestic violence cases 

    Week 3

    Exercise 1: Prepare for meeting with Renee Price ( Will be counted toward Portfolio Grade.)
    Due Tuesday, January 27 at noon. (Due to delay in distributing Smith on Patient Interviewing, any email request for an extension to noon on January 28 will be granted.)
    Also due January 27 at noon are your court observation documents (not graded but required). Turn in to 4th floor reception or scan and email to instructors. (Many of you already turned in your observations at the end of class on January 23.)

    Class on January 30 - Manely Law Firm
    Class will begin at 9am.  One of you will be selected to take the lead on a simulated meeting with a person (not one of you) playing Ms. Price and we will probably rotate one or more of you into the interview and hopefully have time for the rest of you to ask follow up questions.  We will have as a guest speaker Kate Gaffney from Cobb Legal Aid.  Recall that you were going to write down questions arising from your court observation last week to ask her.  At 10:10 we will take a break to go over to the courthouse where Senior Superior Court Judge Conley Ingram will administer the student attorney oath to our 3L students.   We will then resume class at the Manely firm, concluding at 11:45. 

  32. Domestic Violence Binder, pp 4:1 to 4:185 (this is not as long as it seems, there are lot of pages that are mostly white space)


    Week 4
    Assignment 2
    :Noon, Tuesday, February 3, 2015 (Fieldwork Matter up do date)
    Assignment 3: Noon, Thursday, February 5 (annotate Representation-Agreement(GSU) re Rules of Professional Conduct)
    Assignment 4: Noon, Thursday, February 5 (part two of Rice exercise)
    Submit Fieldwork Agreement signed by Fieldwork Attorney: Email to both instructors and cc to Fieldwork Matter or bring to class no later than Friday morning, February 6, 2015

    Class on February 6- Manely Law Firm
    Class will begin at 9am. We will brainstorm with Team 2 their DV case set for hearing on Feb 13 (and also with Team 1 if they have a case by then). We will discuss and probably simulate the various parts of Assignment 4: followup questions with Rice based on new information, discussing possible settlement options with her, rehearsing the presentation of evidence at the Price hearing.

    Binder: Chapter 1 (light orange) You can also download the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct as an MS Word doc at www.clarkcunningham.org/PR/GeorgiaLegalEthics-2014Dec19.docx or view them on-line at www.clarkcunningham.org/GeorgiaLegalEthics.htm
  33. Georgia Rule of Professional Conduct (GRPC) 1.1 (competence)
  34. GRPC 1.2 and Comments 4-5 (scope of representation)
  35. GRPC 1.3 and 1.4
  36. GRPC 1.6 (confidentiality)
  37. GRPC 1.7 (conflict of interest - general rule)
  38. GRPC 1.8(f) (conflict of interest - when not paid directly by client)
  39. GRPC 1.14 (client with diminished capacity)
  40. GRPC 1.16 (terminating representation)
  41. GRPC 2.1 (advisor)
  42. GRPC 3.1 (meritorious claims and contentions)
  43. GRPC 3.3 (duties of candor to the court -- note exceptions to duty of confidentiality)
  44. GRPC 4.1 (truthfulness in statements to others)
  45. GRPC 4.2 (communication with person represented by counsel)
  46. GRPC 4.3 (dealing with unrepresented person)
  47. GRPC 4.4 (respect for rights of third persons

  48. Binder: Chapter 2 (complete)
    Including,
    Chapter 2:1,Gaffney, Representing Victims in Temporary Protective Order Hearings (handed out in class on January 30 and also uploaded to All-DV (the binder contains more slides than Kate Gaffney had time to present on Jan 30)
  49. Binder: Chapter 3 (complete)
  50. Binder: Chapter 5
    5:1 Conversion Chart for Pre-2013 Statutes (5:1) (skim)
    5:2 Milich, Georgia Evidence Essentials (5:4)
    5:3. Harper, Changes affecting hearsay under the new Georgia Evidence Code (5:8)
    5:4 Georgia Evidence Code (review as needed to complete Assignment 4 – most rules are identical to the Federal Rules of Evidence) (handed out at class on January 30, also uploaded to All-DV in both pdf and Word doc format)
  51. Binder: Chapter 6:37 - 6:79 (review forms)
  52. Judge Cox Resignation (14 page pdf uploaded to All-DV)
  53. Biography of Magistrate Judge Philip Taylor (temporarily presiding over TPO hearings in place of Chief Magistrate Judge Frank Cox) (handed out in class on Jan 30 and also uploaded to All-DV)
  54. Review DV-Team2Petition-ExParte and DV-Team2-Intake posted in the Documents Folder of All-DV

    Tuesday, February 10 (optional except for Team 1)
    12:00 - 1:00 at law school (Room 658 - 6th Floor Courtroom)
    Mock DV hearing before "Judge" Paul Milich (probably based on Team 1 case) and discussion of key evidentiary issues likely to arise in DV cases.

    Week 5: Class on February 13
    Manely Firm and Cobb Superior Court
    No new readings except for DV case documents
    Observe and assist with Team 1 and Team 2 cases.

    Week 6: Class on February 20
    Canceled


    Week 7: Class on February 27
    Manely Firm and Cobb Superior Court
    No new readings except for DV case documents
    Observe and assist with Team 1 and 3 cases.

    Week 8: Class on March 6
    Manely Firm and Cobb Superior Court
    Observe and assist with Team 5 case and/or class meeting at Manely
    Class discussion: Best Practices and Ethical Decisionmaking in Negotiation and Advising Clients
    Please review the following (previously assigned for class on Feb 6)
    Binder: Chapter 1 (light orange) You can also download the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct as an MS Word doc at www.clarkcunningham.org/PR/GeorgiaLegalEthics-2014Dec19.docx or view them on-line at www.clarkcunningham.org/GeorgiaLegalEthics.htm
  55. Georgia Rule of Professional Conduct (GRPC) 1.1 (competence)
  56. GRPC 1.2 and Comments 4-5 (scope of representation)
  57. GRPC 1.3 and 1.4
  58. GRPC 1.6 (confidentiality)
  59. GRPC 1.14 (client with diminished capacity)
  60. GRPC 1.16 (terminating representation)
  61. GRPC 2.1 (advisor)
  62. GRPC 3.1 (meritorious claims and contentions)
  63. GRPC 4.1 (truthfulness in statements to others)
  64. GRPC 4.2 (communication with person represented by counsel)
  65. GRPC 4.3 (dealing with unrepresented person)
  66. GRPC 4.4 (respect for rights of third persons
    New Readings
  67. Summary of Milich on Attorney-Client Privilege
  68. Excerpts from Paul S. Milich,”Attorney Client Privilege,” Courtroom Handbook on Georgia Evidence


    Week 9: No class on March 13
    Hearing date for Team 4.

    SPRING BREAK

    Week 10:
    No assignment due on March 24 (although we indicated in class there would be)
    Please complete the anonymous midterm course evaluation on Survey Monkey, if possible by 10pm on March 26, and mark the task as completed in your Class-Name Matter in Clio
    Class on March 27: on campus (Room 325A)

    Review the following which were previously assigned for Week 1

  69. Bilinsky & Best, Drafting Bills Clients Love to Pay, Law Practice Today: The Monthly Webzine of the ABA Law Practice Management Section (Nov. 2008) (6 pages)
  70. Galvez v Cuevas (S.D. Fla. 2009) (lawyer failed to keep meticulous, contemporaneous time records that revealed how hours were allotted to specific tasks; attorney fee award reduced by $11,250) (5 pages)
  71. In the Matter of Denise L. Majette (Supreme Court of Georgia March 28, 2014) (former state court judge [1993-2002] and Member of Congress [2003-2004] disbarred; did not keep contemporaneous time records but reconstructed time sheets and invoices from memory).
  72. Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977) (established 1st Amendment right for attorneys to advertise)
  73. Falanga v State Bar of Georgia, 150 F.3d 1333 (11th 1998) (Georgia's rules prohibiting lawyers and their agents from soliciting professional employment from potential clients face-to-face and without invitation survives First Amendment commercial speech scrutiny)
  74. In the Matter of Anonymous, 775 N.E. 2d 1094 (Ind. 2002) (example of deceptive lawyer advertisement)
  75. Read Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, and 7.5
  76. Read Georgia Formal Advisory Opinion 05-6: Ethical propriety of lawyer advertising where the intent is to refer out to other lawyers.
  77. Read Georgia Formal Advisory Opinion 03-3: Is it ethically permissible for an attorney to enter into a “solicitation agreement” with a financial investment adviser?

    New Readings
    LPM = "Starting Your Georgia Law Practice," published by the Law Practice Management Office of the State Bar of Georgia 2015), which you were to pick up at the 4th Floor Reception Desk
  78. "Getting What's Coming to You: A Primer on Billing and Collecting Fees," LPM 86-90.
  79. GRPC 1.5 (fees)
  80. David Lucas Co. v. Lewis, 293 Ga.App. 288, 666 S.Ed. 576, 581-82 (denying attorney fees due to insufficiency of time records)
  81. Communicating with Clients through Invoices
  82. Bringing billing into the digital age
  83. Hourly rates in a time of moderation
  84. Suit Offers a Peek at the Practice of Inflating a Legal Bill
  85. DLA Piper v. Adam Victor, Suppporting Affidavit (pp 1-4)
  86. DLA Piper denies overbilling
  87. The Tyranny of the Billable Hour
  88. Lawyers find new way around billable hour
  89. Alternative Fee Arrangements and Litigation Finance
  90. The New Normal: Alternative Fee Arrangements and Project Management
  91. Formal Advisory Opinion 07-1: May a lawyer disclose client information to a third party in order to collect fee from the client?
  92. Formal Advisory Opionion 87-5: An attorney may not to the prejudice of a client withhold the client's papers or properties upon withdrawal as security for unpaid fees.
  93. Thomas v Holt, 206 Ga. 133, 70 S.E.2d 595 (1952) (refusing to enforce contract to pay contingent fee from future child support payments)
  94. Advisory Opinion 36 (Contingent Fees Prohibited in Divorce Cases)
  95. Advisory Opinion 47 (Contingency Fees Permitted to Collect Past Due Alimony and/or Child Support)
  96. Statewide Grievance Committee v Dixon, 772 A2d 160 (Conn. 2001) (suspending attorney for failing to obtain client consent to fee sharing)
  97. Corcoran v N.E. Ill. Regional Railroad, 803 N.E.2d 87 (Ill. App. 2003) (award of shared fee to referring attorney)

    Week 11:
    Writing Assignment Five: Instructions for Motion for Attorney Fees (also posted in All-Class) Due at 9am on Friday, April 3 (bring to class).

    Final Fieldwork Report due to Professors Cunningham and Roberts: Email to both instructors and copy to your Field-Name Matter no later than 5pm on Friday, April 3, 2015. Grade to be reduced by one grade level (A to B, C to D) If late without good cause. Any requests for extension shoudl be made in advance and basis for good faith efforts must be apparent from your Field-Name matter in Clio.


    Class on April 3: on campus (Room 325A)
    Guest Speaker: James M. Sherman, Ray & Sherman, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia
    Marketing
  98. Sample website that violates GRPC (created by Robert Bexley, COL '10 based on rules in effect in 2010):ppt pdf
  99. "Marketing Your Practice," LPM pp. 158-69
    Trust Accounts and Non-Refundable Fees
  100. "Trust Accounting for Attorneys in Georgia," LPM Read pp. 91-98 Skim pp. 119-138 (State Bar Law Practice Management publication)
  101. GRPC 1.15(I): SAFEKEEPING PROPERTY - GENERAL, also in LPM 99-100
  102. GRPC 1.15(II): SAFEKEEPING PROPERTY- TRUST ACCOUNT AND IOLTA, also in LPM 101-103
  103. GRPC1.15(III): RECORD KEEPING; TRUST ACCOUNT OVERDRAFT NOTIFICATION; EXAMINATION OF RECORDS, also in LPM 104-107
  104. View "Trust Account Management in Clio": https://support.goclio.com/hc/en-us/articles/203878158-Trust-Account-Management-in-Clio
  105. In the Matter of Collins, 246 Ga. 325 (1980)
  106. AFLAC Inc. v Williams, 264 Ga 351 (1994)
  107. Formal Advisory Opinion No. 91-2: Whether a lawyer may deposit into a general operating account a retainer that represents payment of fees yet to be earned (also in LPM 108-110)
  108. Formal Advisory Opinion 03-1: May an attorney charge a non-refundable special retainer?

    How to get the other party to pay your attorney fees

  109. James M. Sherman, Recovering and Proving Attorney’s Fees And Protecting the Award in Georgia (materials copied by permission of the author and distributed in class on March 17)
    (just skim to be familiar with overall content)

    Evaluating the Client Relationship
    We will discuss the relationships with our clients this semester, in particular how not only to help clients but respect them
  110. Evaluating Effective Lawyer Client Communication
  111. Sample Client Satisfaction Form



    Week 12:
    Writing Assignment 6 (Memo to Judge re Motion for Attorney Fees) (not yet posted) Upload to your Class-Name Clio matter by 12pm on Tuesday, April 8
    Prepare and submit "bill" to instructors for all time expended to date in your Class-Matter and Fieldwork-Matter. Upload to your Class-Name Matter in Clio by 10pm on Thursday, April 9

    Class on April 10: on campus (tentative)
    How to avoid and handle discipline complaints and malpractice claims
  112. "Selecting Legal Malpractice Insurance," ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability, reprinted in LPM 49-58
  113. Skim Malpractice Policy - GSU DV Project, Clio: All-Class/Documents (copy also handed out in class on April 10)
  114. Selected Program Materials from "Houston ... We Have a Problem," copied with permission of the authors, Clio: All-Class/Documents
    1. Scott Bertschi & John Tanner, "Negotiating Your Law Firm's Malpractice Insurance"
    2. H. Lane Young, "What to do When a Claim Arises"
  115. Kim M. Jackson, "Defending Yourself and Your Firm"

    Week 13:
    Class on April 17: on campus

    Learning from our fieldwork reports

    Week 14
    Class on April 24: on campus (tentative)

    The Entrepreneurial Lawyer
    Guest speakers who started their own solo firms
    GSU Visiting Professor Hulett Askew on the Georgia Incubator Initiative (providing low-cost start up space and support to new law graduates who agree to devote a portion of their work to representing low and moderate income persons)