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Workplace Substance Abuse and Ethical Issues With an Impaired Lawyer

Gain an understanding of how to recognize mental health and substance abuse within your colleagues. It has been a truism for decades, if not centuries, that lawyers have problems with the bottle - it is a common cliché in movies and novels. Often the impaired attorney is the managing partner or the firm's rainmaker. It can be uncomfortable for colleagues to address the issue. Frequently they ignore the problem until it's too late - the firm has angry clients, malpractice suits and pending disciplinary action. This topic will first address some of the underlying reasons that lawyers suffer disproportionally high rates of substance abuse and mental health problems. We will then review some common examples of attorney misconduct caused by substance abuse and/or mental illness. We will look at both how these issues affect both the individual attorneys and the firm as a whole. We will suggest some ways to protect your firm and your practice from impaired colleagues and where to go for help. Finally, this material will suggest some best practices to have in place prior to any problems.


Runtime: 93 minutes
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Why Lorman?

Over 32 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Agenda

Introduction and Overview of the Topic

  • Current Statistics on Lawyers and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues and Some Possible Explanations for These Numbers
  • General Understanding of Causes - Nature of Legal Work, Self-Selecting Population
  • Differences Among Attorneys Re: Gender, Age, Area of Practice, Length of Practice, Income
  • Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse and/or Mental Health Issues

How These Disorders Impact Lawyers' Practice

  • Ethical Violations and Discipline - Common Types of Misconduct That Are Frequently the Result of Mental Health Problems and Substance Abuse: Neglect, Poor Practice Management, Comingling
  • Criminal Consequences - DWI, Drug Possession, Assaults, Domestic Violence Offenses
  • Malpractice Claims - Inability to Be Insured

How These Disorders Impact the Workplace

  • Liability/Malpractice Issues
    • Impaired Attorneys
    • Impaired Managing Partners
    • Impaired Support Staff
  • Potential Professional Discipline
    • What Are the Reporting Requirements Under Rule 8.3?
    • What Potential Exposure Does the Rest of the Firm Have? (See in Re Wilens and Baker Firm Was Disciplined for Failure to Address Misconduct by Partner)
  • Loss of Revenue and Firm Reputation
    • FirmWide Policies and Procedures
    • Requirements Under the Americans With Disabilities Act for Employees With Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues
    • Suggestions for Firm Policies to Be Established Before a Problem Arises
    • Strategies for Getting Help
    • Asking for Help and Issues to Be Aware of Lawyers Assistance Programs, Peers, Human Resources Departments
    • Ways to Approach the Impaired Colleague
  • Diversion Programs
  • Lawyers Assistance Programs
  • New Trends in Treatment - Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Alternatives to 12-Step Programs, etc
    • Suggestions for Maintaining Firm WellBeing and a Healthy Environment for Employees
    • Wellness Policies
    • Vacation and Electronic Media Policies

Treatment and Disciplinary Alternatives for the Impaired Attorney

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Why Lorman?

Over 32 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Credits

OnDemand Webinar

Applications have not yet been submitted for Delaware, Idaho, Kentucky, Ohio, South Carolina, and Wyoming CLE for this course. However, if you are interested in obtaining CLE for any of the listed states or have any additional credit questions please email us at [email protected] or call us at 866-352-9540.

This course was last revised on December 19, 2018.

Call 1-866-352-9540 for further credit information.

  • AK CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • Alaska attorneys may receive 1.5 hours of continuing legal education, including 1.00 hours of ethics credit for completing this program. Please contact the Alaska Bar Association or go to www.alaskabar.org for details regarding reciprocity with other states.
     
  • AL CLE 1.5 including Ethics 0.5
     
  • This course or a portion thereof has been approved by the Alabama State Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Commission for a maximum of 1.5 hours' credit, including 0.5 hours of ethics credit.
     
  • Arizona CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • The Arizona State Bar does not pre-approve or pre-certify MCLE programs. However, records of this program and attendance will be maintained by Lorman Education Services for auditing purposes. This activity may qualify for up to 1.5 hours toward your annual CLE requirement for the State Bar of Arizona, including 1.00 hours of professional responsibility.
     
  • CA MCLE 1.5 including Ethics 0.5; Competence Issues 1
     
  • Lorman Business Center, Inc. is a State Bar of California approved MCLE sponsor and this course qualifies for 1.5 CLE hours of participatory credit, of which includes Competence Issues for 1.00 hour.
     
  • CT CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • Neither the Connecticut Judicial Branch nor the Commission on Minimum Continuing Legal Education approve or accredit CLE providers or activities. This course has been approved for CLE credit in jurisdictions aside from CT and therefore it automatically meets the content and delivery requirements in Connecticut. Credit is based on a 60 minute credit hour and shall be awarded as follows: 1.5 CLE credit(s) including 1.00 hour(s) of ethics credit.
     
  • FL CLE 2.0 including Mental Illness Awareness 1; Substance Abuse 1
     
  • This course has been approved by The Florida Bar for a total of 2.0 hours of CLE credit. The course is approved for the following: Mental Illness Awareness for 1.00 hour and Substance Abuse for 1.00 hour.
     
  • HI CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • This program was approved by the Hawaii State Board of Continuing Legal Education for 1.5 CLE credit hours including 1.00 ethics credit hours.
     
  • IL CLE 1.5 including Legal Ethics 0.5; Mental Health and Substance Abuse 1
     
  • This course was approved for a total of 1.5 hours of MCLE Credit by the Illinois MCLE Board. The Illinois Commission on Professionalism has also approved this course for the following credit: Legal Ethics for 0.50 hours and Mental Health and Substance Abuse for 1.00 hour.
     
  • ME CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • This course has been approved by the State of Maine Board of Overseers of the Bar. Lawyers who complete this course shall receive 1.5 hours of CLE credit including 1.00 ethics hours under M. Bar R. 12.
     
  • MN CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • This program has been approved by the Minnesota Board of Continuing Legal Education for 1.5 hours of credit, including 1.00 hours of ethics credit.
     
  • MT CLE 1.5 including Substance Abuse 0.5; Ethics 0.5
     
  • This program has been approved by the Montana Board of Continuing Legal Education for a total of 1.5 CLE credits, which includes 0.50 hours of ethics credit.
     
  • ND CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • North Dakota CLE policy does not allow for pre-approval of any self-study courses. This course may qualify for up to 1.5 hours of CLE credit, including 1.00 hours of ethics credit.
     
  • NH MCLE 1.5
     
  • NH MCLE does not approve or accredit CLE activities for the NH Minimum CLE requirement. Lorman Education Services believes this course meets the requirement of NH Supreme Court Rule 53 and may qualify for CLE credit(s). Program Length: 90 Minutes.
     
  • NM CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • This program has been approved by the New Mexico Minimum Continuing Legal Education Board for 1.5 hours of credit, including 1.0 hours of ethics credit.
     
  • NV CLE 1.5 including Ethics 0.5; Substance Abuse 0.5
     
  • This program has been approved by the Nevada Board of Continuing Legal Education for 1.5 CLE hours, including Substance Abuse for 0.50 hours.
     
  • NY CLE 1.5 including Ethics and Professionalism 1
     
  • This course has been approved in accordance with the requirements of the New York Continuing Legal Education Board for up to a maximum of 1.5 credit hours in the area(s) of Ethics and Professionalism for 1.00 hour. Each hour may be counted only as satisfying one category of credit. Duplicate credit for the same hour of instruction is not permitted. This course qualifies for credit for established attorneys only. Lorman Business Center, Inc. has a financial hardship guideline. Please contact customer service at 1.866.352.9539 for instructions on how to apply.
     
  • OR CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1; practical skills 0.5
     
  • Approved for 1.5 CLE credits in Oregon, including practical skills for 0.50 hours.
     
  • PA CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • This Distance Learning program has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 1.5 hours including 1.00 hours of ethics, professionalism or substance abuse CLE credit.
     
  • RI CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • This program has been approved by the Rhode Island Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Commission for 1.5 hours of CLE credit, including 1.00 hours of ethics credit.
     
  • UT CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • This program has been approved by the Utah State Board of Continuing Legal Education for 1.5 CLE hours, including 1.00 hours of ethics credit.
     
  • VA CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1.5
     
  • This program has been approved by the Virginia Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board for 1.5 CLE credit hours, including 1.50 hours of ethics credit.
     
  • VT CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • This program has been approved by the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Board of Vermont for 1.5 hours of self-study CLE credit, including 1.00 hours of ethics.
     
  • WA CLE 1.5 including Ethics 0.5; Other 0.5
     
  • This program has been approved by the Washington State Board of Continuing Legal Education for 1.5 hours of A/V credit, including 0.50 hours of ethics credit and Other for 0.50 hours.
     
  • WV MCLE 1.8 including Ethics 0.6; Substance Abuse 0.6
     
  • This program has been approved by the West Virginia State Bar MCLE Commission for 1.8 MCLE hours, including Substance Abuse for 0.6 hours.
     
  • NALA 1.53
     
  • This program is applicable for continuing legal assistant education credit. Please check with your accrediting board to see if this course will qualify towards your recertification requirements. Program Length: 1.53 hour(s).
     
The CLE Code is ONLY a requirement when applying for CLE Credit in New York. Other states do not need to supply the CLE Code to apply for CLE credit.

To earn each credit Lorman offers through the OnDemand learning platform, you need to watch 100% of the program. Also, for certain credits you will need to fulfill additional requirements which will be displayed on the "credits" tab when viewing the course.

Virginia MCLE requirements do not allow approval for programs that do not include an audio or audiovisual component.

This program was previously offered as a live webinar. Virginia MCLE requirements do not allow approval for attendance at duplicate programs.

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

Audio & Reference Manual

  • AK CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • Arizona CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • CA MCLE 1.5 including Competence Issues 1; Ethics 0.5
     
  • CT CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • GA CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • HI CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • IL CLE 1.5 including Legal Ethics 0.5; Mental Health and Substance Abuse 1
     
  • ME CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • MT CLE 1.5 including Ethics 0.5; Substance Abuse 0.5
     
  • NJ CLE 1.8 including Ethics 1.2
     
  • NM CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • NV CLE 1.5 including Ethics 0.5; Substance Abuse 0.5
     
  • NY CLE 1.5 including Ethics and Professionalism 1.5
     
  • OR CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1; practical skills 0.5
     
  • UT CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • VT CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • WA CLE 1.5 including Ethics 0.5; Other 0.5
     
  • WV MCLE 1.8 including Ethics 0.6; Substance Abuse 0.6
     
The CLE Code is ONLY a requirement when applying for CLE Credit in California (for participatory credit), Kansas, New Jersey or New York. Other states do not need to supply the CLE Code to apply for CLE credit.

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

MP3 Download

  • AK CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • Arizona CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • CA MCLE 1.5 including Competence Issues 1; Ethics 0.5
     
  • CT CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • HI CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • IL CLE 1.5 including Legal Ethics 0.5; Mental Health and Substance Abuse 1
     
  • ME CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • MT CLE 1.5 including Ethics 0.5; Substance Abuse 0.5
     
  • NJ CLE 1.8 including Ethics 1.2
     
  • NM CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • NV CLE 1.5 including Ethics 0.5; Substance Abuse 0.5
     
  • NY CLE 1.5 including Ethics and Professionalism 1.5
     
  • OR CLE 1.5
     
  • UT CLE 1.5 including Ethics 1
     
  • VT CLE 1.5
     
  • WA CLE 1.5
     
  • WV MCLE 1.8
     
The CLE Code is ONLY a requirement when applying for CLE Credit in California (for participatory credit), Kansas, New Jersey or New York. Other states do not need to supply the CLE Code to apply for CLE credit.

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

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More Program Information

Why Lorman?

Over 32 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Faculty

Meredith S. Heller

Meredith S. Heller

Law Office of Meredith S. Heller PLLC

  • Principal, the Law Office of Meredith S. Heller PLLC
  • Practice emphasizes criminal defense and professional responsibility
  • Frequent speaker at CLEs on professional ethics and mental health
  • Member of the New York City Bar Association; former chair, Professional Responsibility Committee; member and former chair, Lawyers Assistance Program Committee; New York State Bar Association (member of Professional Discipline Committee); New York Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL)
  • J.D. degree, Cardozo Law School; B.A. and M.A. degrees, Case Western Reserve University
  • Can be contacted at [email protected]
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Why Lorman?

Over 32 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

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Product ID: 404246
Published 2018
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