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Legal Ethics 101: Avoiding Common Mistakes and Conducting your Practice with Honesty and Integrity

SKU: ETH6800
Total Credits
1.5 - 2
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This CLE program examines some of the common mistakes made by new attorneys and explores some of the best ways to deal with them once they've occurred. Using the framework of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct, we will discuss common issues you may encounter with supervising attorneys, opposing counsel and clients. The material also covers best practices in setting and handling fees, as well as the requirements for properly managing trust accounts. We will review recent case law related to issues impacting law firms including marketing, multijurisdictional practice, risk management and malpractice. The importance of being prepared and conducting your practice with honesty and integrity (as well as the potential consequences when you don't) are also examined.

Lecturer Bio

Sari W. Montgomery, Esq.

Sari W. Montgomery has devoted her career to the law of lawyering, legal ethics and professional responsibility for more than twenty years.

After more than a decade as Litigation and Senior Litigation Counsel at the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois (ARDC), where she conducted hundreds of investigations and prosecuted dozens of cases before the ARDC Hearing Board, Sari decided to apply her extensive knowledge of the ARDC and legal ethics to helping lawyers who may be facing disciplinary proceedings or who otherwise need guidance on ethics matters. Since 2010, she has successfully represented lawyers at every stage of the disciplinary process from investigation and hearing, to appeals before the ARDC Review Board and the Illinois Supreme Court. Sari also represents bar applicants in navigating Character and Fitness proceedings and assists students when issues arise in taking the LSAT.

In addition to defending lawyers in ARDC and bar admissions proceedings, Sari provides preventative consulting services and legal advice to lawyers regarding all manner of ethical and practice management issues. She has issued opinion letters on behalf of lawyers, law firms, government agencies, and law-related businesses to assist in clarifying their ethical obligations and to ensure their business models and procedures are consistent with the Rules of Professional Conduct. Sari also serves as an expert witness in legal malpractice matters.

Sari is a leader in local, state and national bar associations. For more than a decade, she has been appointed to serve on the Illinois State Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Conduct (Past Chair) which drafts ethics opinions for the benefit of the Association’s more than 30,000 members. She was also appointed to serve on the ISBA President’s Special Committee on the ARDC Matching Services Study and the ISBA President’s Special Committee on Collaborative Law. Sari is a member of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers (APRL) and serves as APRL’s liaison to the American Bar Association (ABA) Committee on Professional Regulation. She is also a member of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility and the Chicago Bar Association.

Sari also enjoys sharing her knowledge of the law of lawyering. She frequently presents at national, state, and local CLE programs and has taught as an Adjunct Professor at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Sari is also a co-author of Ch. 13, Disciplinary Liability, Attorneys’ Legal Liability (IICLE®, 2018), Ch. 9, Ethical Considerations in Jury Trials, Inside & Outside the Jury Box (IICLE®, 2019), and is a contributing author of the forthcoming ABA Annotated Standards for Imposing Sanctions (American Bar Association Center for Professional Responsibility, 2019, 2nd Ed.).

Sari earned her B.A. in Public Policy Studies from the University of Chicago and her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

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