Fundamentals of Law Practice (Law 7336)
Spring Semester 2014

Syllabus (as of June 12, 2014 )

Please bring your Course Binder and laptop to every class.

"Starting Your Georgia Law Practice," Law Practice Management (State Bar of Georgia 2014) = LPM
Binder = Domestic Violence Manual handed out at first class

Key Dates (revised due to cancelations caused by inclement weather):

Assignments 1,2: January 27, 2014 (Analysis and draft intake memo from Marsh interview)
Assignment 3: January 28, 2014 (Revised intake memo from Marsh interview)
Fieldwork Period Begins: January 30, 2014
Fieldwork Period Ends: March 12, 2014
Draft Fieldwork Report to Fieldwork Attorney for review: Friday, March 14, 2013
Revised Fieldwork Report to Fieldwork Attorney for final approval: Tuesday, March 25, 2013
Final Fieldwork Report due to Professors Cunningham and Roberts: Friday, March 28, 2013

Protective Order Hearings & Intake Dates (revised due to cancelations caused by inclement weather) :
All Teams: 2/7/14 Courtwatching & Swearing-In, Cobb County Superior Court
Team 1- 2/21/14 Hearing - Merrick, Dyson, Agramonte [Cunningham]
Team 2 2/28/14 Hearing - Gibson, Daniels, Pelletier [Cunningham]
Team 3 3/7/14 Hearing - Cairns, Easton, Malone [Roberts]

Week 1 - Class on January 15

Course Objectives

  1. Review course home page
  2. Charlotte Alexander, "Learning to Be Lawyers: Professional Identity and the Law School Curriculum," 70 Maryland L. Rev. 465 (2011) (excerpts that describe this course as first taught in Spring 2010) (pdf) (10 pages)
  3. History of the Clio web-based practice management tool
  4. Watch Clio webcast: Calendars 101 (12 minutes):
  5. Watch Clio webcast: Matters 101 (24 minutes):

    The Fieldwork Component
  6. Instructions for fieldwork and fieldwork plan.
  7. Read the following two field reports written by prior students (the reports will be emailed separately)
    a) Reasonable Measures: Finding Solo Success with Sensible Decisions
    b) A Civil Firm Specializing in Environmental Law
  8. 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).

    Fundamental Skill: Interviewing
  9. "Taking Notes," from Foonberg, How to Start & Build a Law Practice (pdf) (1 page)
  10. "Asking Questions," from Conference Skills (Inns of Court School of Law)
  11. Prepare to interview Professor Tiffany Roberts about her solo practice by reviewing her website:

    Fundamental Skill: Timekeeping
  12. 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)
  13. 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)
  14. 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)
  15. Review Course Time Keeping Requirements (1 page)
  16. Read Clio help page on Create a Time Entry:
  17. Read Clio help page on Text Snippets:
  18. Read Clio help page: Clio Express [how to log time when off-line] :
  19. Watch Clio webcast: Mobile 101 (7 minutes):
  20. Mac, iPhone and iPad Users: review

    Ethical Issues in Using Cloud-Based Case Management Systems
  21. 2011 Formal Ethics Opinion 6: Subscribing to Software as a Service While Fulfilling the Duties of Confidentiality and Preservation of Client Property (North Carolina State Bar 2012) (3 page pdf)
  22. Clio Privacy Policy [excerpts] Complete privacy policy available at:
  23. Clio Terms of Service [excerpts]: Complete terms of service available at:

    Week 2 - Class on January 22
    Interviewing (continued); Establishing the Lawyer-Client Relationship; Representing a Petitioner for an Order of Protection

    Binder: Tab 2 (blue)
  24. Georgia Rule of Professional Conduct (GRPC) 1.1 (competence)
  25. GRPC 1.2 and Comments 4-5 (scope of representation)
  26. GRPC 1.6 (confidentiality)
  27. GRPC 1.7 (conflict of interest - general rule)
  28. GRPC 1.8(f) (conflict of interest - when not paid directly by client)
  29. GRPC 1.16 (terminating representation)
  30. GRPC 3.3 (duties of candor to the court -- note exceptions to duty of confidentiality)
  31. Mary C. Ashcroft, "Unbundling Legal Services: Delivering What Your Client Wants at a Price She Can Afford," Vermont Bar Journal 1-3 (Winter 2010) (pdf)
  32. 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)
  33. Retainer agreement used by Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation for domestic violence cases (pdf)
  34. Client Agreement form used by Cobb County Legal Aid for domestic violence cases (also posted in All-Class in Clio)
  35. Smith, Patient-Centered Interviewing: Foreword, Chapter 1 (all), Chapter 2 (all), and Chapter 3: pp 35-65 (2d edition)/ pp 29-55 (3rd edition)
  36. Binder: Tab 4 "Orange"
    John Mayoue, “Family Violence,” Georgia Jurisprudence
    Title 19: Chapter 13: Family Violence Act
    Georgia Criminal Statutes relevant to family violence and stalking petitions
  37. Read 2 page police report (handed out in Class 1 and posted in All-Class in Clio) to prepare for simulated interview of domestic violence victim (based on actual case from prior semester).
  38. Interview Analysis form to be used to apply Smith reading to simulated interview (also posted in All-Class in Clio)

    Week 3 - Class on January 29 (canceled due to inclement weather)
  39. By noon on Monday, January 27, upload Writing Assignment 1 to Clio: All-Class/Documents
  40. By noon on Monday, January 27: upload Writing Assignment 2 to Clio: All-Class/Documents
  41. By 5pm on Tuesday, January 28: upload Writing Assignment 3 to Clio: All-Class/Documents

    Week 4
    Class on February 5 -- begins at 12 noon
    Representing a Petitioner for an Order of Protection
    (continued). Develop case strategy for Velma Marsh simulation; conduct follow-up meeting with Marsh; plan pre-hearing investigation; prepare for court observation on February 7; develop model client representation agreement
  42. Slain woman predicted her own death
  43. 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)
  44. 2010 Georgia Domestic Violence Fatality Review: Annual Report (excerpts)
    Binder: American Bar Association Standards of Practice for Lawyers Representing Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking in Civil Protection Order Cases (Tab A "Green")
    I. Purpose & Scope, 1
    II. Definitions, 1-3
    III. Ethical Duties, 3-18, 23-38 (skip "Military Concerns," "Minor Victims," and "Native American Victims")
    IV. Procedures, 40-51, 53-59 (skip "Issues in Indian Country")
  45. Binder: Tab C "Purple":
    Representing Domestic Violence Victims in Temporary Protective Order Hearings, Cobb Justice Foundation (PowerPoint Presentation)
    Process to Obtain a Temporary Protective Order – Cobb County
    Information for Victims of Domestic Violence – Cobb County Police Department
    YWCA NW Georgia: Anti-Violence Programs
    How to Obtain Law Enforcement Records and Cobb County Information (C16 - C45)
  46. Binder: Tab D "Orange"
    Case Law
  47. Binder:Tab E "Yellow"
    Forms - Petition for Temporary Protective Order (Family Violence),
    Family Violence Ex Parte Protective Order,
    Family Violence Twelve Month Protective Order
    Additional readings for make-up class
  48. Binder: Tab D "Orange": Read Milich, Georgia Evidence Essentials (4 pages)
  49. All-DV (new Clio matter) Review in Documents folder: AVLF Hearing Checklist
  50. Clio: All-DV-- AVLF Evidence Check List
  51. Clio: All-DV -- Manual-Medical Records
  52. Clio: All-DV -- SafetyPlanning-ABA
  53. Clio: All-DV-Safety and Planning-Final

    Friday, February 7: 8:30 am - 11:00 am
    Court observation, meet with staff of TPO office, swearing in of third year students.

    Week 5: Class on February 14 -- 11:30 am - 2:15 pm
    The Manely Law Firm - The Justice Cafe
    211 Roswell Street, Marietta, GA 30060
    Free parking in front of building Map
    Guest speaker: Kate Gaffney, Cobb County Legal Aid
  54. Clio: All-Class/Documents -- Whipple, Issues Involving Children (ppt)
  55. Clio: All-Class/Documents -- Family Law Resources (Read pp 1-5, pp 6-18 are the same as the next three Binder readings, skim rest)
  56. Binder: Tab D (Orange): OCG 19-9-1 Parenting plans D67-68
  57. Binder: Tab D (Orange): OCG 19-9-3 Custody disputes (read (a)(4), skim the rest) D69-72
  58. Binder: Tab D (Orange): OCG 19-9-7 Visitation by parent who has committed acts of family violence D-73
  59. Clio: All-Class/Documents: Rainwater-Consent TPO.pdf
  60. Clio: All-Class/Documents:Thompson-ConsentOrder.pdf
  61. Meet the New Clio Review
  62. New enhancements to Clio: Data Table Improvements. Review
  63. New enhancements to Clio: Upgrades to the Header and Sidebar. Review
  64. Time rounding in Clio (now implemented for our course by 6 minute units):
  65. How do I send an email to Clio? (don't use the second "global mailbox" option for our course)
  66. How to register your non-student email address:
  67. Georgia Commission on Family Violence: Family Violence Intervention Program Fact Sheet
  68. Meredith Hobbs, Justice Café Adds Offices, Expands a la Carte Services: Manely firm slowly rolls out experiment in making lawyers available for $75 per hour (Fulton County Daily Report Nov. 21, 2013) (also posted in pdf in All-Class)

    Week 6: Class on February 19 -- begins at 12:15 pm
    Guest speaker: Professor Paul Milich
  69. Task reminders:
  70. How do I undo a deletion in Clio?
  71. Instructions for Fieldwork Matter (due by noon on Feb 19)
  72. Review the following items of evidence from DV-Marsh on Clio. The person listed after each item will prepare to role play in class introducing the item, which may require calling a witness (to be played by one of the instructors) to lay a foundation for admission of the evidence. "Judge" Milich will rule on admissibility.
    EMS records (Cairns)
    Photographs of injuries (Daniels)
    Auto Bill of Sale (Easton)
    Warrant and Bond (Gibson)
    Prior conviction for aggravated assault (not yet posted) and pretrial services report (Malone)
    911 audio (Pelletier)
  73. Writing Assignment 4 due by noon on Feb 19 (provide citations to Georgia Evidence Code to support admission of each of the above items of evidence)

    Week 7: Class on February 26 -- begins at 12:30 pm
    Fieldwork Plan signed by fieldwork attorney to be uploaded to Clio by noon on 2/26 or brought to class.
  74. Clio: All-DV -- Hearing Transcript in Marsland v. Marsland (37 double-spaced pp)
  75. Clio All-Class: Read the following two field reports written by prior students
    a) A Hometown Attorney in Metro Atlanta
    b) A Small Personal Injury Firm

    Week 8: Class on March 5
    No new readings.
    1:15 pm
    Team 3 reports to class to work with Professor Roberts on their case set for 3/7
    2:00 pm Team 1 and 2 come to class
    Practice hearing for case set for 3/7
    Debrief case settled on 2/28; discuss negotiation strategies and methods, informed client consent to settlement
    Share fieldwork experiences to date.

    Week 9: No Class on March 12
    Fieldwork Period Ends: March 12, 2014
    Please complete anonymous midterm course evaluation by Friday,, March 14, 2013: When you have submitted the evaluation, mark as complete the corresponding task assigned to you in your Class-Name Clio. The password for the evaluation will be sent by email and also appears in the assigned task.
    Draft Fieldwork Report to Fieldwork Attorney for review: Friday, March 14, 2013


    Week 10: Class on March 26
    Debrief Team 2 and Team 3 cases.
    Lessons on fees from your fieldwork.
  76. "A Primer on Billing and Collecting Fees," Starting Your Georgia Law Practice," Law Practice Management (State Bar of Georgia 2014) (LPM), pp 87-91.
  77. Read GRPC 1.5 (Fees) including comments
  78. Re-read 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)
  79. Re-read 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)
  80. Re-read 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)
  81. David Lucas Co. v. Lewis, 293 Ga.App. 288, 666 S.Ed. 576, 581-82 (denying attorney fees due to insufficiency of time records)
  82. Communicating with Clients through Invoices
  83. Bringing billing into the digital age
  84. Hourly rates in a time of moderation
  85. Suit Offers a Peek at the Practice of Inflating a Legal Bill
  86. DLA Piper v. Adam Victor, Suppporting Affidavit (pp 1-4)
  87. DLA Piper denies overbilling
  88. The Tyranny of the Billable Hour

    Week 11: Class on April 2
    Writing Assignment Five (Motion for Attorney Fees) due at class on April 2
  89. Lawyers find new way around billable hour
  90. Alternative Fee Arrangements and Litigation Finance
  91. The New Normal: Alternative Fee Arrangements and Project Management
  92. Formal Advisory Opinion 07-1: May a lawyer disclose client information to a third party in order to collect fee from the client?
  93. 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.
  94. 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)
  95. Advisory Opinion 36 (Contingent Fees Prohibited in Divorce Cases)
  96. Advisory Opinion 47 (Contingency Fees Permitted to Collect Past Due Alimony and/or Child Support)
  97. "Trust Accounting for Attorneys in Georgia," LPM Read pp. 92-99 Skim pp. 118-137 (State Bar Law Practice Management publication)
  98. Statewide Grievance Committee v Dixon, 772 A2d 160 (Conn. 2001) (suspending attorney for failing to obtain client consent to fee sharing)
  99. Corcoran v N.E. Ill. Regional Railroad, 803 N.E.2d 87 (Ill. App. 2003) (award of shared fee to referring attorney)
  100. GRPC 1.15(I): SAFEKEEPING PROPERTY - GENERAL, also in LPM 100-101
  103. Kathleen Baydala Joyner, Bar's Governors Approve IOLTA Rule on Third Try (Fulton County Daily Report March 25, 2014) posted in All-Class on Clio
  104. View on Clio Help page "Learning to Manage Trust and Operating Accounts": (7 minutes)
  105. 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 109-110)
  106. Formal Advisory Opinion 03-1: May an attorney charge a non-refundable special retainer?

    Week 12: Class on April 9
  107. Writing Assignment Six (Memo to Judge re Motion for Attorney Fees) upload to your Class-Name Clio matter by 12pm on Tuesday, April 8
  108. "Selecting Legal Malpractice Insurance," ABA Standing Committee on Lawyers' Professional Liability, reprinted in LPM 49-58
  109. Skim Malpractice Policy - GSU DV Project, Clio: All-Class/Documents (copy also handed out in class on April 10)
  110. 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"
    3. Kim M. Jackson, "Defending Yourself and Your Firm"
  111. Skim Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct; Enforcement (handed out in class April 2)
  112. 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 for violation of Rule 1.5)
  113. Fieldwork Reading Assignment
  114. Fieldwork Summary Assignment

    Week 13: No Class on April 16 (Miller Lecture)

    Week14: Last Class on April 23 :)
    Final course evaluation during class

  115. Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977) (established 1st Amendment right for attorneys to advertise)
  116. Ohralik v Ohio State Bar Ass'n, 436 U.S. 477 (1978) (solicitation prohibition upheld)
  117. In re Primus, 436 U.S. 412 (1978) (application of anti-solicitation rules violated 1st Amendment)
  118. Florida Bar v, Went For It, Inc, 513 U.S. 618 (1995) (Florida Bar Rules prohibiting personal injury lawyers from sending targeted direct-mail solicitations to victims and their relatives for 30 days following an accident or disaster did not violate 1st Amendment)
  119. 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)
  120. In the Matter of Anonymous, 775 N.E. 2d 1094 (Ind. 2002) (example of deceptive lawyer advertisement)
  121. Read GRPC 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4, and 7.5 (Important note: Rule 7.2 was amended by the Georgia Supreme Court effective March 21, 2014 with new provisions regarding referrals and fixed fees)
  122. Formal Advisory Opinion 05-6: Ethical propriety of lawyer advertising where the intent is to refer out to other lawyers.
  123. Formal Advisory Opinion 03-3: Is it ethically permissible for an attorney to enter into a “solicitation agreement” with a financial investment adviser?
  124. Sample website that violates GRPC (created by Robert Bexley, COL '10 based on rules in effect in 2010):ppt pdf
  125. Evaluate the following two law firm websites in terms of the requirements of GRPC 7.1 , 7.2 and 7.3:
  126. "Marketing Your Practice," LPM pp. 158-69