ReelTime CLE: Moving Pictures, Engaging Minds, Changing Paradigms




Friday, May 31, 2019 | 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. | Beus Center for Law and Society | Room 150 | Webcast Available

Join the acclaimed film makers, lawyers, and amazing presenters from Reel Time CLE as they pair with local ethics experts Pat Sallen and Don Wilson for 2 three hour programs in a new approach to teaching ethics in CLE. This event will be broken into two different programs both worth attending. In the morning session we will watch, participate and discuss “The Accidental Lawyer” and in the afternoon we will review, talk and analyze ethical issues in “Nobody Told Me There Would Be Days Like This.” Explanations to both programs are below. Sign up for one or both. Contact Chris Marohn at for discounts for groups over 5.

“The Accidental Lawyer” — Terms of Engagement – Morning Session

“You’re a lawyer right?” Seemingly innocuous words, but when said at a cocktail party, family gathering, or even in a hallway or elevator at the courthouse, they pose a genuine challenge, don’t they? We want to use our training to help folks, right?  After all, isn’t that at least a part of why many of us went to law school?

And yet, how many times has a conversation that began with those very words turned out to be the source of tremendous trouble? Beyond the obvious risk of getting sidetracked from the social occasion in which one is supposed to be participating, or the task one is trying to accomplish, there lurk even greater dangers. As some poor, unfortunate souls have learned, if a lawyer is not careful in responding, he or she may inadvertently create a professional relationship, without intending to do so–leaving the lawyer potentially exposed to a malpractice claim. And even if an attorney-client relationship is not deemed to have been formed, a would-be client may nevertheless believe that he or she is communicating with the prospective lawyer in confidence for the purpose of obtaining legal services; if that belief is found to have been a reasonable one, the attorney may end up prohibited from disclosing any confidential information communicated.

This new live, interactive workshop from ReelTime CLE is designed to help lawyers be more alert to the vulnerabilities they may face in various non-office settings, and to equip them with best practices for defining their roles up front, and setting clear boundaries with the person seeking advice.  With the aid of three original film vignettes depicting all-too-common challenging scenarios, participants will have an opportunity to identify their own particular areas of potential exposure, and to develop proactive strategies for navigating these situations with less risk and greater peace of mind.

Lawyers who attend this workshop will be equipped to:

  • Identify generally how implied attorney-client relationships are formed and the specific factors that a reviewing court will consider
  • Better understand the difference between the duty of confidentiality and the attorney-client privilege
  • Recognize the common stumbling blocks that often hinder lawyers’ efforts to protect themselves in particularly challenging scenarios
  • Learn practical strategies and best practices to avoid entering into an implied attorney-client relationship


“Nobody Told Me There’d Be Days Like These!” – Afternoon Session

Stress, Pressure and Ethical Decision-Making in the Practice of Law

Most serious legal malpractice claims and successful bar disciplinary actions are brought not for debatable violations of arcane, ambiguous, provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct, but, in fact, for clear breaches of obvious, well-defined ethical obligations.  (Don’t take money from the client trust account. Keep clients reasonably informed about the progress of a case or a transaction—even when it’s bad news. Don’t sleep with the attractive domestic client you are representing in an ongoing divorce proceeding. Be candid with the court., etc..) It’s not rocket science—in fact, anyone who has sat in on a basic Professional Responsibility class would know such conduct is ethically problematic. And yet it happens. A lot. Even to our own friends and colleagues at the bar.

This engaging, highly interactive program provides a fresh and practical perspective on the fundamental question, “Why do ‘good’ lawyers ‘go bad’?” Vignettes from an original short film, written and co-produced by ReelTime CLE founders Michael Kahn and Chris Osborn, serve as the catalyst for a practical and informative consideration of the intersection of ethical decision-making and the manifold sources of stress encountered by lawyers in managing the day-to-day practice of law.

Come join us for this workshop and you will have an opportunity to:

  • Learn how to guard against ethical missteps by better understanding the complex interplay of various factors that can contribute to them.
  • Explore the roles of stress, core values, organizational “culture,” and cumulative choices in the ethical decision-making process
  • Gain practical, concrete guidance on how to manage one’s practice so as to better navigate the inevitable tension between personal and professional pressures.
  • Implement best practices for setting and managing client expectations (particularly with regard to workload, the need for the client’s cooperation, expected costs, and the range of possible outcomes in the litigation process).
  • Identify and implement sustainable strategies for minimizing the negative effects of stress and pressure in the practice of law.

The State Bar of Arizona does not approve or accredit CLE activities for the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education requirement  This activity may qualify for up to 6.0 hours toward your annual CLE requirement for the State Bar of Arizona, including 6.0 hour(s) of professional responsibility.

Additional information


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