The New Flat-Fee Rule: Now What?
This program is a recording of the Live Seminar held on November 27, 2018.
If you attended the live program; You cannot claim CLE for watching this recorded program.
Just when you thought you had billing all figured out, comes along a new mandatory rule on January I, 20I9. Don't be caught with your proverbial pants down. We all- know (or at least should know by now) that a fee paid in advance by a client before any legal services are rendered, is "presumed" to be unearned and must be held in your client trust account until, in fact, earned by you. BUT:
- Have you nonetheless ever gotten your client to agree that this advance fee would be non-refundable or that it would be deemed earned upon your receipt, such that the presumption would not appty? OR
-Have you ever agreed to charge a client a flat or fixed fee for an engagement and then, without more, periodically (and perhaps without even letting the client know) drawn down on that flat fee as the engagement or work progressed to pay yourself? OR
-Have you ever agreed to charge a client a flat or fixed fee for an engagement but never bothered to have such an agreement in writing signed by the client? OR
-Have you ever neglected to províde a client with an accounting of the flat fee you held in your client trust account, when she requested it?
No more, come January 1. Join us for a short one hour seminar to have these and other questions about the flat-fee rule discussed by practitioners like yourselves and the Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
James A. Kawachika is counsel to the law firm of Deeley King Pang & Van Etten LLP, where his practice includes advising lawyers and law firms on legal ethics and professional responsibility matters and representing lawyers in disciplinary proceedings and bar admission and reinstatement cases. He also serves as an expert witness in legal malpractice cases.
Mr. Kawachika is a past president of the Hawai`i State Bar Association and a former chair of the Disciplinary Board of the Hawai`i Supreme Court. He is a past president and a current board member of the Hawai`i Justice Foundation and is a member of the Hawai`i Judicial Selection Commission. Mr. Kawachika has also served on the board of the directors of the Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i and is a current director of the American Judicature Society. He has been appointed by four separate American Bar Association presidents to the editorial board of the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct, the Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and the Standing Committee on Professional Discipline. Mr. Kawachika also represents Hawai`i in the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates. He has also taught legal ethics and professional responsibility at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawai`i.
Mr. Kawachika received his B.A. degree from the University of Hawai`i and earned his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley (Boalt Hall School of Law). He is a member of the Hawai`i State Bar Association, American Bar Association, and the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility. He is AV Preeminent-rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America by Woodward/White, Inc. and the Best Lawyers in Hawai`i by Honolulu Magazine in the areas of commercial litigation, estates and trust litigation, and professional malpractice law.
In 2011, Mr. Kawachika received the C. Frederick Schutte Award for outstanding and meritorious service to the legal community and the profession. In 2012, he was awarded the Hawai`i Justice Foundation’s Spirit of Justice Award for his contribution to the access to justice.
Derek R. Kobayashi is a litigation partner at the law firm of Schlack Ito and maintains a general civil litigation practice. He serves as the Vice Chair of the Hawaii Access to Justice Commission and as the Chair of the Self- Representation and Unbundling Committee. Kobayashi is also President-Elect on the HSBA Board of Directors and is a Lecturer-In-Law teaching Pretrial Litigation at the William S. Richardson School of Law. Kobayashi was recently selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2019 in the practice areas of Commercial Litigation, Litigation - Real Estate, and Litigation - Trust and Estates.
He enjoys community and pro bono work and in 2010 received the Pro Bono Achievement Award from the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii. In 1999 he received the Hawaii State Bar Association's Ki`e Ki`e Award given biennially for outstandingpro bono service. In his spare time, he enjoys time with his family, shoreline and deep sea fishing, competitive volleyball, public speaking and snowboarding.
Joy M. Miyasaki is a partner at Carlsmith Ball LLP and a member of the Tax, Estate Planning and Trust Administration practice group, concentrating in tax and estate planning, wealth preservation and asset protection, charitable planning and tax-exempt organizations, trust and estate administration, and trust and estate disputes and litigation.
Prior to joining Carlsmith, Joy was the principal of Miyasaki LLC. She was also a trial attorney with the IRS Office of Chief Counsel in New Jersey; a partner with Bergman, Horowitz & Reynolds, a law firm in Connecticut and New York (nka Withers Bergman); and an attorney with the Law Offices of Shuichi Miyasaki, a law firm in Honolulu.
Joy is active in the community and currently serves as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Hawaii Richardson School of Law; a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel; and an Editorial Board Member of The Practical Lawyer, published by the American Law Institute. She has also served as a Member of the Disciplinary Board of the Hawaii Supreme Court; Chair of the Policy Advisory Board for Elder Affairs of the State of Hawaii; Chair of the HSBA Probate and Estate Planning Section and Tax Section as well as President of the Hawaii Estate Planning Council, Hawaii Women's Legal Foundation, and Hawaii Women Lawyers.
Joy has been ranked as an AV Preeminent®-rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, listed in Chambers & Partners in the area of Private Wealth Law, and consistently recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the areas of Trust & Estates, Tax Law, and Litigation and Controversy Tax by Best Lawyers®.
Joy received an A.B. and J.D. from Georgetown University.
Rebecca Salwin is an Assistant Disciplinary Counsel at Hawaii Office of Disciplinary Counsel.
Duration: approximately 1 hour
Credit: This seminar qualifies for 1 CLE Credit.
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This seminar will be available in your classroom to view for 1 year from the date of purchase OR until November 27, 2020 which ever comes sooner.
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