“Planning for the Unexpected” outlines the steps that lawyers and their successors should take while proactively protecting clients and colleagues in the event of the lawyer’s absence, disability or death. While there are no specific rules for winding down a practice, whether planned or unplanned, this guide focuses on the ethical obligations when closing a law practice. If you practice on your own and do not have a transition plan, look to this guide to help you prepare for any unexpected event.
Succession planning is an essential part of every lawyer’s practice. Significant ramifications can occur if clear procedures are not in place during an untimely death, disability or discipline situation for a law firm and the firm’s clients. Highlighted in this section are instructions and forms to help lawyers prepare for these untimely events.
The Successor Attorney designated to manage or close another attorney’s office will face myriad responsibilities, some of which will require immediate action. If you are an attorney or the fiduciary that must manage the responsibilities of closing another lawyer’s law practice, the steps to protect clients’ interest and forms included in this chapter will guide you through this process.
This section reviews some of these issues and the various arrangements that the Absent Attorney and the Successor Attorney can make.