November 15, 2001 Regular News Advice available for lawyer reservists Advice available for lawyer reservists The Florida Bar’s Ethics Department With the tragic events that occurred on September 11, many reservists and National Guard personnel were mobilized to assist in the fight against terrorism. Some of those called to duty were members of The Florida Bar. Because of the possibility of a greater mobilization in the near future, it is important for attorneys who may be called to active duty to be adequately prepared to handle the impact on their law practice. While most reservists have a developed contingency plan to protect their clients and law practice, we have learned that some attorneys were not prepared for an immediate mobilization. Mobilization is especially difficult for solo practitioners who do not have the advantage of another attorney working in their office to assist in the transition of cases. Attorneys who practice in a firm have the benefit of allowing another attorney within the firm to handle client matters. The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel has posted some guidance on the ABA’s website which may be beneficial to sole practitioners who do not have a current mobilization plan which includes their law practice. The guidance includes an article entitled “Mobilization Readiness Advice for the Solo Attorney/Reservist.” The article offers tips on selecting an attorney to assist in the winding down of a law practice. Factors such as competence, experience, professionalism, and adequate malpractice coverage are primary considerations when selecting a designated attorney. Transitional conferences with the attorney and staff regarding status of cases are also suggested for at least the most pressing matters. The designated administering attorney would need to have an understanding of office systems such as conflict checks and calenders. It is also important that designated attorneys have access to locked storage facilities as well as passwords to obtain computer information. Most importantly, the trust account should be made accessible. Failure to have an authorized signatory on your account could require a court’s order to release client funds. Client notification is also discussed in the article. Clients should be notified of the possibility of an activation order once it appears that a mobilization is likely. Information provided in the notification would include a discussion of what to expect when activation occurs and the necessity that the client file be forwarded to another attorney. Notification and communication with your malpractice carrier is also critical. The article, as well as samples of suggested documents and checklists, can be viewed in its entirety at www.abanet.org. The Florida Bar has a link to the relevant section of the ABA website on its homepage at www.FLABAR.org. It should also be noted that the Military Affairs Committee of the Florida Bar is sponsoring a pro bono referral program to assist active duty military, recalled reservists, and recalled National Guardsmen with their legal needs. Those interested in volunteering should complete an application (provided below) and return it to the Military Affairs Committee staff liaison, Jennifer Wilson. Civilian attorneys and other local bar associations in the state should refrain from soliciting or otherwise directly contacting the military to provide assistance. The Florida Bar Military Affairs Committee will coordinate all necessary assistance and provide training for the volunteers. In addition, the Law Office Management Advisory Service of the Florida Bar (LOMAS) has information and materials available for attorneys who employ reservists. LOMAS can be contacted at (850) 561-5611.
The Hunters spent this week training up at the National Sports Institute in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province.Hunters coach Michael Marum said the players will now go for a break with their families and return to camp in Port Moresby on January 2, 2017.Players started flying out today to their home provinces.Marum said the final 30-man squad will be named shortly after and will be announced once it is approved by Chairman of the PNG Rugby Football League, Sandis Tsaka.