Save the Date! THE conference of the year for Solo & Small Practitioners
Meet and relax at the luxurious Bedford Springs Resort Enjoy the multiple networking opportunities with your colleagues from across the Commonwealth at a four diamond resort
Designed for solo, small & mid-sized practices Our planning committee is comprised of attorneys just like you who have identified key topics to meet your needs
Create your own course You pick the workshops to create a program that’s just right for you
Earn 12 CLE credits Get your full year’s worth of CLE credits while enjoying a delightful “getaway”
5 meals & 1 reception
free yellow books plus course materials
Unrivaled educational experience
8:30 – 9:30 am PLENARY SESSION: Essential Building Blocks for a Successful Solo or Small Firm Whether solo or small, a successful firm must have procedures and tools which support client service, financial well-being, effective internal and external communications, retention of good employees, and make you want to go to work each day. Find out what your firm can tweak to improve.
9:45 – 10:45 CHOOSE ONE
1. What We Can Do With Social Media Social Media isn’t just for marketing. During this one hour session, Ms. Ellis will discuss how social media plays a role in legal practice. She will address issues such as use of social media in litigation, ethical issues surrounding accessing social media evidence, employment concerns and social media policies for both law firms and clients.
2. Family Law: In the Law-In the Courts An interactive session on the amendments to the adoption and custody laws and their implementation in county courts.
11:00 – 12:00 CHOOSE ONE
3. Fee Agreements (ETHICS) This workshop includes a review of the Pa. Rules of Professional Responsibility as they relate to fee agreements. Learn the essential“nuts and bolts” of well written agreements for hourly, flat fee, partial and fully contingent cases in a variety of practice areas. We will role play hypothetical scenarios to bring to life why written fee agreements areso essential.
4. Ten Tough Traps for Employers: Current Challenging Areas in Workplace Law Once upon a time, employers and employees considered themselves fortunate just to have access to computers and the online world. With the explosion of broadband, smartphones, social media, and “bring your own device” workplaces, every business now faces the propensity for a small workplace matter to become viral or debilitating to business in an instant.We will examine the significant exposures an employer faces from sources such as blogs, Twitter, Facebook, internet use, smartphone use; relevant case and statutory law; and we will outline some approaches to reducing these risks.
5. iOS vs. Android – Which is Best for You? The great rivalries of our time: Coke vs. Pepsi, Walmart vs. Target, Philadelphia vs. Pittsburgh, and…iOS vs. Android. Sorry, BlackBerry and Windows Mobile, the mobile platform wars have dissolved largely down to a two-horse race between the offerings from Apple and Google. While Apple’s iPhone usually gets credit for creating the mobile technology environment that many now take for granted seven years after its 2007 introduction, it was Google’s entry, introduced for commercial use one year later – and more widely available than iPhone (limited to AT&T customers until 2011) – that heralded the arrival of touchscreen smartphones in earnest. Now that you know that, which one is for you? And why? Should you change from one to the other? Are you still holding on to your BlackBerry? All these questions – and more – will be answered during this hour.
1:00 – 2:00 CHOOSE ONE
6. iPad for Lawyers iPads are useful tools in the practice of law. When you leave this session, you will have learned how you can use an iPad to stay in touch with your office, take depositions and present evidence in court. In addition, you will discover some of the myriad useful applications that attorneys find helpful, from managing jury selection, to performing research, to staying organized.
7. The Latest in Disciplinary Board Cases and How They Affect You A discussion of how the actions of the PA Supreme Court Disciplinary Board, in enforcing the Rules of Professional Conduct and the Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement, impact solo and small firm practioners. The three presenters are members of the Disciplinary Board.
2:15 – 3:15 CHOOSE ONE
8. Web Presence In this hour, Mr. Camson will discuss your web presence as well as your firms. Get answers to frequent questions like: Do you have a separate web presence? How can you create a web presence on a budget? What is SEO? Do you need a separate mobile site?
9. Firearms in Estates Small and solo practitioners are often called upon to take possession of estate property and to liquidate estates. Frequently, we encounter firearms in the course of this work. State and federal firearms laws are fraught with pitfalls for the unknowing when handling and disposing of firearms. In this seminar, we’ll give you what you need to triage firearms related issues and keep yourself out of trouble when handling and disposing of firearms.
10. Hot Tips in Technology Hear the latest in what is hot in the world of technology.
3:30 – 4:30 CHOOSE ONE
11. What's Trending in Ethics, Privilege and Conflicts of Interest This course will cover
Malpractice avoidance tips
What you need to know about recent amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct
Work product gone wild: the Supreme Court’s decision in Barrick holding all lawyer-expert witness communications immune from discovery
12. New PAR Sales Agreement Form This session will provide a detailed explanation of significant aspects of the new PAR Sales Agreement.
8:30 – 9:30 am PLENARY SESSION HOT TIPS 45 rapid-fire flashes from the following fields: Real Estate; Family; Criminal; Labor & Employment; Estates & Trusts; Business & Corporate; Tax; Bankruptcy
9:45 – 10:45 CHOOSE ONE
13. Financial Planning Concerns for Oil, Gas and Mineral Lease Clients In this session we will examine financial challenges and pitfalls for clients holding oil, gas and mineral leases. We will:
Talk about ownership issues
Discuss lease management challenges
Examine current values of future lease payments relative to estate planning
Examine tax sheltering strategies for owners
Consider tax challenges for lease holders and more
14. Keeping Your Workers’ Compensation Practice Alive Whether you are an experienced workers’ compensation practitioner,you need to update your knowledge of recent workers’ comp law, oryou are new to the field, this session will have something for everyone. Mr. Wolf, a certified workers’ compensation specialist, will discuss thecertification testing process, the implications of the test for the practiceof workers’ comp law in Pennsylvania, and provide recent case law updates. He will also provide practice tips, and an overview of WCAIS, the newonline case management system now utilized by the Bureau ofWorkers’ Compensation.
11:00 – 12:00 CHOOSE ONE
15. Drafting Tips for Your Practice From guiding a negotiation to writing an effective brief to crafting deal terms that will best protect your clients’ interests, your writing may be your best tool for effective legal representation. This session will cover options on how to structure your documents, ensure you’re on the same page as your client, and what not to include for maximum effect. You’ll emerge with new insights into making your writing one of the most powerful weapons in your legal arsenal.
16. Shale Gas Update In this session we will review significant developments in shale gas exploration and development from the past year. We will:analyze basic and advanced oil and gas lease topics of particular interest in pre-lease, pre-production areas; identify current leasing trends as well as factors which may impact future leasing;explore the potential impact of legislative and judiciary activity in this area over the past year;explore potential royalty underpayment scenarios in post-lease areas currently in production;review the proper use of professional mineral management services, particularly where fiduciary relationships exist; andidentify ancillary practice areas where changing OGM values must be considered during representation (e.g. estate planning, divorce, bankruptcy/creditors’ rights).
17. Software Comparisons: Which Should You Choose? The modern lawyer’s office is home to all kinds of software. This one-hour session will take a look at three of the most important.Adobe Acrobat vs. Nuance Power PDF? Adobe’s Acrobat has been the undisputed leader in portable document format (PDF) software for more than twenty years, however Nuance Communications has just upped the ante with its newly-launched Power PDF, replacing its previous PDF Converter brand. If you are using Adobe, should you give Power PDF a try? If you’re using neither, which should you choose?Gmail vs. Outlook.com? Are either of these webmail clients for you? Billing Software. There are lots of options on the market. We’ll take a look at a few of the more popular options – and why they are.
1:00 – 2:00 CHOOSE ONE
18. Getting Paid You have your fee agreement in place. You have performed services. Now you want to get paid. This session will review how to nicely bill your client, different payment options (including credit cards), how to not-so-nicely bill your client after late payment, and what (if anything) to do upon non-payment.
19. Overview of PBA sponsored Insurance Programs Representatives from USI will cover purchasing lawyers professional liability, trends. They will also cover medical insurance including the Affordable Care Act that will help you and your clients.
2:15 – 3:15 CHOOSE ONE
20. Entity Identity Your selection of a business entity can have a significant effect upon your liability exposure, office management and finances. Learn about your options so you can choose the best entity for you.
21. Fiduciaries Dealing with Financial Institutions Explore the issues surrounding financial institutions’ reluctance (or outright refusal) to accept directions from agents under validly executed powers of attorney. Learn about proposed changes to the power of attorney statute and how they may affect bank policies and procedures, the authority of agents under POAs to act on behalf of trustees and executors in their financial capacities, when a new tax identification number is needed, and a sample document.
3:30 – 4:30
22. Planning for the Conclusion of Your Practice What does retirement mean to you? Work until you drop? (And leave the “clean-up” to others?) Scale back and work just a little? Do you want to salvage sweat equity by selling or transitioning your practice? Or will you just turn off the lights and close the door on your last day? This sessionwill discuss your options with an eye on your obligations to your clients, what the Rules permit, and the myriad of practical implications that come into play.
Click here to make reservations at the Omni Bedford Springs for the conference rate of $205.00 per night ($195 room rate, $10 resort fee)
* Each day of this Institute has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 6 hours of CLE credit. Workshop choices will determine whether credits are in substantive law, practice and procedure or ethics, professionalism or substance abuse.*
Course Planning Team: Sara Austin, Esq., Marion Laffey-Ferry, Esq., Kim Lengert, Esq., Kenneth P. Milner, Esq., Patti S. Spencer, Esq.
One copy of the course materials is included in your registration. These materials are not available for separate purchase. Materials will be provided via electronic download.
12 Total CLE credits, 2 of which may be applied toward Ethics
Dates & Locations
Please note: Check-in begins 30 minutes prior to every event.
Omni Bedford Springs Resort
2138 Business 220, Bedford, PA