Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register

Site Search
Professionalism Committee
Group HomeGroup Home Blog Home Group Blogs
A blog by members of the Wake County Bar Association/Tenth Judicial District Bar's Professionalism Committee members.

 

Search all posts for:   

 

Top tags: ethics  Exit Planning  Mediation  admissibility  Advocacy  appeal  Competence  corporate appearance  Law  Lawyer  mediator  Professionalism  professionalism stress depression anxiety mental h 

I Need an Intern or Can I get Someone to Mentor Me?

Posted By Colleen Glatfelter, Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Updated: Tuesday, May 31, 2016

by Leslee Ruth Sharp, Sharp Law Offices, Raleigh, NC

 

            Did you see the movie The Intern? Young entrepreneur Jules (Anne Hathaway),  who has built her web-based clothing company, is convinced by one of her employees to hire a senior (yes, old guy) intern; enter Ben (Robert DeNiro), retired phone book executive (yes they actually used to print phone numbers in a big paper book), who is widowed and looking for something to fill his days. 

 

            Now Jules has it all together with her on-line clothing sales and her business is growing gang busters.  Ben knows not of on-line clothing sales, or really of on-line anything, but he knows the business of running a business and of managing people.

 

            As interns do, Ben watches, observes, learns about his boss. But something different happens, this intern begins to share his business acumen with his boss.  Rather than the intern being mentored by the boss in the specifics of on-line clothing sales, Jules becomes the mentee and begins to learn the business of running her business.  The intern imparts knowledge of how to manage and grow a company, how to manage people.  Along the way, Jules shares some 20th Century advice about work-life balance that didn't exist when Ben was climbing his way to the top of the executive ladder. 

 

            As in the best of any relationship, each party has something to give and each takes something away.  There really isn't much difference in this intern and the typical mentee; the intern came into the relationship mainly at the invitation of the boss who felt the need to show the uninitiated the ropes, the mentee seeking to emulate, to some degree, the mentor and learn the tricks of the trade from the mentor.  But as shown in The Intern, sometimes the student becomes the teacher. 

 

            As a lawyer, each of us is surrounded daily by opportunities for learning.  Whether you are in a formal mentor-mentee relationship, an internship gone upside down, or sitting at lunch with a colleague who relates yesterday’s experience, take a moment to find the nugget of knowledge that helps you say "you learn something new every day."  It might not be the statute you need to save your client's case, it might be a software program that will helps get you out of the office earlier each day.

 

            Now, I'm off to find that senior Intern who's going to show me how to delegate all these tasks required to make this practice run so I can get back to the practice of law...

 

~~~~~

 

 *Any opinion or views expressed in blogs posted on this site are those of the identified author and not the Committee as a whole. 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

The Devil’s Advocate v. The Advocate’s Devil

Posted By Colleen Glatfelter, Friday, April 22, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, May 4, 2016

By: Howard A. Marsilio, La Mantia & Marsilio, PLLC

 

My last blog contribution in late 2015 focused on the basics and the attorney’s contemplated role as an advisor under the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct (“Rules”).  After receiving positive feedback from a number of my peers, it felt right to take it back to the basics again and discuss another fundamental role of the attorney - the advocate.  In my experience, non-attorneys most frequently envision the advocate as the main role of an attorney.  This is understandable having been inundated by television shows and movies with their favorite actors as hard-charging hired guns.  These actors are frequently seen objecting constantly, using excessive hand gestures and “you can’t handle the truth” style yelling, and employing it’s my client’s way or the highway tactics.  Of course, that makes for good entertainment, as I doubt many best-sellers will be written about the ___________________ (insert your own boring legal subject here) practitioner, but too much “Hollywood” in your practice of law may not always comport with the Rules or local court rules.

 

The Rules stand for the idea that as an attorney your conduct, both professionally and privately, should reflect positively on the legal profession.  See Comment 4 of Rule 0.1, Preamble (“a lawyer should further the public's understanding of and confidence in the rule of law and the justice system because legal institutions in a constitutional democracy depend on popular participation and support to maintain their authority”); and Comment 5 of Rule 0.1, Preamble (“A lawyer should demonstrate respect for the legal system and for those who serve it, including judges, other lawyers, and public officials”).  Comment 2 of Rule 0.1, Preamble states “[a]s advocate, a lawyer zealously asserts the client's position under the rules of the adversary system.”  For me, I like to call this role of advocate in Court the “fun” stuff, but I do not take on this role with an “anything goes” or “at all costs” attitude.  The role of advocate is not intended and should not include methodology or tactics which would make for good entertainment in the movies/shows/books to gain advantage, abuse the system, or simply make opposing counsel’s job more difficult for an improper purpose.  Merriam-Webster.com defines zealous as “feeling or showing strong and energetic support for a person, cause, etc.”, but it does not include the words aggressive, hostile, or disrespectful with regard to the treatment of others. 

 

Rules of Professional Conduct 3.1 through 4.4 further outline and more specifically address the boundaries of attorney conduct in prosecuting, defending, litigating or advocating in the name of their client’s interests, but Comment 13 of Rule 0.1, Preamble  may be the paragraph that best captures the spirit of balancing professionalism and advocacy in representing your clients.

 

“Although a matter is hotly contested by the parties, a lawyer should treat opposing counsel with courtesy and respect. The legal dispute of the client must never become the lawyer’s personal dispute with opposing counsel. A lawyer, moreover, should provide zealous but honorable representation without resorting to unfair or offensive tactics. The legal system provides a civilized mechanism for resolving disputes, but only if the lawyers themselves behave with dignity. A lawyer’s word to another lawyer should be the lawyer’s bond. As professional colleagues, lawyers should encourage and counsel new lawyers by providing advice and mentoring; foster civility among members of the bar by acceding to reasonable requests that do not prejudice the interests of the client; and counsel and assist peers who fail to fulfill their professional duties because of substance abuse, depression, or other personal difficulties”  (Emphasis Added).

 

Although the “fun” part of being an attorney may occasionally incorporate a little “show” for the client, a little bluff at the negotiation/mediation table, or a legal argument that may straddle that fine line between genius and insanity, I suspect many attorneys will agree that this profession is difficult and stressful enough without too much “Hollywood” or unnecessary conflict.  It appears the moral of the story is that as attorneys, we should strive to lift up each other, the profession, and non-attorney perception of lawyers, through professional behavior and respect, instead of beating each other down at every turn.  Perhaps it is most important to remember the “Golden Rule” along with the other rules we deal with day-to-day.

 

~~~~~

 

 *Any opinion or views expressed in blogs posted on this site are those of the identified author and not the Committee as a whole. 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Driven to Distraction

Posted By Colleen Glatfelter, Tuesday, March 29, 2016

By Carmon Bannon, NC State Bar, Professionalism Committee Vice-Chair 

I am sitting at my desk, in my office, trying to wrap my mind around a voluminous file.  It’s the kind of project where you have to make notes, and a timeline, and refer back and forth between documents just to piece together the complete picture.  My cell phone buzzes—text message—better check that to make sure it isn’t something important. Nope—OK, back to the file . . . It buzzes again—Oh no!  It’s one of those infernal group texts and others are responding.  I go into the phone settings, switch off the alerts for that message, and turn back to . . . My email alert chimes.  It’s one of the other lawyers in my office describing a fact pattern and asking the rest of us to weigh in on how to proceed.  Will have to get to that later.  On my second computer monitor, I see that a few messages have come in on my personal email—Might as well delete all those sale announcements and free-shipping offers now, before they pile up.  My phone rings.  It can go to voicemail, because I have GOT to focus on this file . . . The voicemail light on my office phone starts flashing just before my cell phone starts ringing—apparently my opposing counsel really wants to talk to me right now.  While my cell phone is ringing, my paralegal brings in today’s mail.  As we exchange pleasantries, my email chimes a few more times—my coworkers are replying-to-all about the earlier inquiry.  There is a movement afoot to gather in the conference room in 30 minutes to discuss.  As I scan the replies from my colleagues, I am half listening to the speaker-phone conversation going on in the adjacent office, and two other people chatting about their gardens in the hallway.  That reminds me—my office plants need watering.  Better do that now, before I forget.  Now, where was I? . . .  A calendar alert pops up and chirps, reminding me that my manuscript for an upcoming CLE is due tomorrow.  I add that to the “To-Do” list for later.  At this point, there are only 15 minutes left before the impromptu meeting.  By the time I get a train of thought going on my project, it will be time to go, so I might as well check the headlines, listen to those voicemails to see what opposing counsel wants, and revisit the group text from the neighbors to see what I’m supposed to bring to the potluck.  I guess studying that file will have to wait.

Being a lawyer is an information- and communication-driven profession.  Most of us have dozens (or hundreds!) of different projects in some stage of completion at all times.  So we need to be connected.  And we need to be able to switch gears.  But at some point, these two necessities can interfere with doing our best work.  In order to perform for our clients, we may need to create some single-tasking space in a multi-tasking world.

As it turns out, this idea has received quite a bit of attention from researchers recently, and the data suggests that we could all benefit from designating times when we will turn off the phone, disable the email alerts, and close the web browser.  Many of these findings are discussed in an 18 January 2015 article by neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin entitled “Why the Modern World is Bad for Your Brain.”  Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jan/18/modern-world-bad-for-brain-daniel-j-levitin-organized-mind-information-overload.  In thinking about how the distractions of the modern workplace might undermine our performance as lawyers, I thought the following passage from Levitin’s article was particularly salient:

“[L]ots of multitasking requires decision-making: Do I answer this text message or ignore it? How do I respond to this? How do I file this email? Do I continue what I’m working on now or take a break? It turns out that decision-making is also very hard on your neural resources and that little decisions appear to take up as much energy as big ones. One of the first things we lose is impulse control. This rapidly spirals into a depleted state in which, after making lots of insignificant decisions, we can end up making truly bad decisions about something important.”

Levitin explains that the constant barrage of information and distraction doesn’t just cost in terms of decision-making and productivity.  Multitasking also affects our mood and stress level by increasing the production of adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol, making it more difficult to handle the pressures of the job.  One day recently I thought “If I hear that email alert sound one more time this afternoon, I am going to run screaming from the building!”  Needless to say, in that agitated frame of mind, I was not doing my best work. For the sake of our clients, and our sanity, we should all give ourselves permission to cut off the data stream, silence the electronics, and do some old-fashioned thinking.

~~~~~

 

 *Any opinion or views expressed in blogs posted on this site are those of the identified author and not the Committee as a whole.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Lawyers Taking Time out of Very Busy Schedules: Mentoring and Collegiality

Posted By Colleen Glatfelter, Thursday, March 17, 2016

by Elizabeth L. Oxley, Attorney

 

Taking time out of our very busy schedules to talk with law students, new attorneys--and each other—results in the mentoring and collegiality which form part of the bedrock of good law practice and professionalism within the Bar.  Thinking back on my legal career, a few special mentors come to mind.  All the mentors took time out of their very busy schedules to talk with me and encourage me—in other words, they were collegial.

As a law student, I did a summer internship in a prosecutor's office.  One of the prosecutors made a point of spending time with the "lowly" interns almost every morning to answer our questions and encourage us.  This meant the world to us.  Also while a law student, I served as a research assistant to two professors and edited their casebooks.  Both of the professors took the time to encourage me as a law student and future lawyer, giving me ideas about good options for my future career.  While a student intern with a federal judge, the law clerks and judge took time to talk with me about my work, and the judge invited me to observe meetings with attorneys in chambers and  to join his lunch outings with his clerks. 

As a newly-practicing attorney, a trial judge took the time to talk to me in chambers about law practice in general, sharing advice such as, "only object when it is really important."   Many attorneys shared advice, too, such as "watch the white hairs" in court to find out how to litigate effectively.  These experienced attorneys and judges showed me by example that the practice of law is more than books and briefs—that ours is truly a learned profession and much of what we learn is through caring enough to take time for each other as fellow professionals.

 

~~~~~

 

 *Any opinion or views expressed in blogs posted on this site are those of the identified author and not the Committee as a whole.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

The ABC's of Fees

Posted By Colleen Glatfelter, Tuesday, March 1, 2016

By Leanor Bailey Hodge, Professionalism Committee Member

Did you know that in North Carolina, there is no such as thing as a non-refundable fee?   This is true without regard for the type of fee structure used in the representation.  Rule of Professional Conduct 1.5 governs fees.  It provides in part that “a lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect an illegal fee or clearly excessive fee….”  N.C. Rules of Prof’l Conduct Rule 1.5(a).  There are four types of fee structures that are commonly used in North Carolina:  general retainer, advance payment, flat fee, and contingent fee.  A general retainer exists when a client pays consideration at the beginning of a representation to reserve the exclusive services of a lawyer, but the payment is not used to pay for actual representation.  This fee is earned upon payment.  Many lawyers confuse the general retainer structure with the advance fee.  An advance fee structure exists when a client deposits a sum of money with the lawyer against which sum the lawyer will bill, usually on an hourly basis, as legal services are rendered.  The advance fee payment belongs to the client until it is earned by the lawyer.  The lawyer must refund the unearned portion of the fee upon termination of the lawyer-client relationship.  The third type of fee structure is the flat fee.  The flat fee is paid at the beginning of the representation for a specified legal service on a discrete legal task or isolated transaction that is to be completed within a reasonable amount of time (e.g. drafting a deed, handling a traffic ticket).  The flat fee pays for all legal services rendered in connection with the transaction regardless of the amount of time the lawyer expends on the matter.  When charging a flat fee, the lawyer should take care to confirm with the client whether the flat fee is earned upon receipt or upon completion of the legal task.    The last type of commonly used fee structure is the contingent fee.  The contingent fee is contingent on the outcome of the matter for which the legal service is rendered.  If the fee arrangement provides for payment of a contingent fee, the fee agreement must be in writing signed by the client.  Also, the written contingent fee agreement must state the method by which the fee is to be determined, including the percentage or percentages that shall accrue to the lawyer in the event of settlement, trial or appeal; litigation and other expenses to be deducted from the recovery; and whether such expenses are to be deducted before or after the contingent fee is calculated.  N.C. Rules of Prof’l Conduct Rule 1.5(c).  All legal fees in North Carolina are refundable.  Regardless of which fee structure you choose, you may be required to refund all or part of the fee if the fee is determined to be unearned or clearly excessive and thus in violation of Rule 1.5(a).

~~~~~

 

 *Any opinion or views expressed in blogs posted on this site are those of the identified author and not the Committee as a whole.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Do You Have the Level of Technological Competence Required by the Rules of Professional Conduct?

Posted By Colleen Glatfelter, Monday, February 15, 2016

 By Dan Johnson, Professionalism Committee Member 

Do you have the level of technological competence required by the Rules of Professional Conduct?

Even for attorneys who started practice before the dawn of the Internet, the competent practice of law now requires some knowledge of electronic technology.  It is doubtful that today’s clients would tolerate an attorney without e-mail or a cell phone.  It is doubtful that legal research can be competently done in today’s law practice without the use of the assistance of either Lexis or Westlaw.

Is there an ethical duty to have some level of technological competence?  The answer to that question appears to be yes.

Rule 1.1 of the Rules of Professional Conduct provides, in part:  “A lawyer shall not handle a legal matter that the lawyer knows or should know he or she is not competent to handle … “  Comment 8 to Rule 1.1 was amended in 2014 to provide, in part:  “To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with the technology relevant to the lawyer’s practice …”  Thus, some degree of knowledge of law office technology is now required by this Rule for attorney competence.

In addition, the State Bar decided in 2014 FEO 5 that, for litigation purposes, the “technology relevant to the lawyer’s practice” includes social media.  That FEO states:  “Counsel has a general duty to be aware of social media as a source of potentially useful information in litigation, to be competent to obtain that information directly or through an agent, and to know how to make effective use of that information in litigation.” (citing a New Hampshire Bar Association opinion).  Accordingly, an attorney with litigation as part of his or her practice must have basic knowledge of social networking media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Under the Rules and at least one Ethics opinion, a competent attorney today has an ethical duty to acquire basic knowledge of  the technology relevant to the lawyer’s practice and, at least for litigators,  to acquire basic knowledge about electronic networking by social media.

~~~~~

 

 *Any opinion or views expressed in blogs posted on this site are those of the identified author and not the Committee as a whole.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

The First Call

Posted By Colleen Glatfelter, Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Crystal Carlisle, Associate Attorney,  The Brocker Law Firm, P.A.

We all know that first impressions matter.  This is true not only with in-person meetings but also with initial telephone calls.  There are several important factors that you should keep in mind when speaking to a potential client for the first time.  First, people want you to listen.  Even if you do not decide to take a client’s case, giving them the courtesy of allowing them to explain their issue and frustrations is incredibly important.  This does not mean you have to spend hours on the telephone with a potential client on an initial call.  It does mean you need to ensure not to make the person feel like you are rushed and do not have time to hear their concerns.  Before you return a call to a potential client, make sure you allow adequate time to listen, ask questions, and actively engage in the conversation.  Your time is valuable but so is the time of the people that call you for help.  “One of the greatest gifts you can give to anyone is the gift of attention.” – Jim Rohn

Second, do your best to ensure that you are understood.  For example, if you are quoting someone a fee for an initial consultation, make sure they understand exactly what they will be paying for – i.e. an hour of your time?  Two hours?  Review of documentation?  You do not want the client to be surprised.  Even if you put the agreement in writing before the consultation, if the client misunderstood the quote on the initial call, they will likely not be pleased to see a higher or different amount in writing.

Third, follow up on your promises.  If you tell a potential client that you are unable to help, but you will contact them with the names of a few people who may be able to assist, make sure you do get back to them.  If you are unable to provide the information you thought you could provide, you need to relay that information as well.

Fourth, make every effort possible to never come across as superior to the person who has contacted you.  Of course you likely have more legal knowledge about the topic than the potential client or they would not be calling you.  However, the potential client is more knowledgeable about the facts, which you need to know in order to correctly apply your legal knowledge.  Even if a potential client contradicts you, and you know you are correct, try to explain that in your experience, the situation resulted in a different outcome.  “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – Theodore Roosevelt.

Following these simple steps should become second nature in any profession.  The first contact with a potential client matters!  We expect this level of professionalism and courtesy from others; therefore, it should also be what we provide.

~~~~~

 

 *Any opinion or views expressed in blogs posted on this site are those of the identified author and not the Committee as a whole.

 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

Mistakes Just Happen: Professionalism Takes Work

Posted By Colleen Glatfelter, Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Doug Brocker, The Brocker Law Firm, P.A. & Professionalism Committee Chair

Regardless of how conscientious you strive to be, eventually everyone makes mistakes. Fortunately, inadvertent or unintentional mistakes generally are not matters for which professionals are disciplined or held liable in most circumstances, absent some intent, malice or a pattern of errors.  Nonetheless, when mistakes do inevitably happen, it’s important to take a few simple steps to handle them correctly and professionally.  First, fess up and admit your mistake, preferably without qualification, hedging or excuse.  Second, take the initiative to do whatever you can to fix the problem or at least minimize any adverse effects.  Don’t wait for somebody to ask you to remedy it.  If you’re dealing with reasonable people, taking these simple steps often diffuses the situation and minimizes any potential negative effects to you and others.  In contrast, failing to take these commonsense steps, or acting to the contrary and unprofessionally, likely will exacerbate a potentially bad situation.

Because mistakes inevitably occur, we all eventually will be on the receiving end of such situations involving the mistakes of others.  It is equally essential to handle those situations professionally, even if it’s not the most expedient option or typically your first instinct.  For example, it is almost always a bad idea to respond through electronic communications to perceived misconduct by another person or professional.  The many shortcomings of digital exchanges rarely can adequately handle the sensitive nature and the nuances involved in such situations.  Rather, e-mails and texts regularly inflame and exacerbate such situations and cause people to make incorrect assumptions and jump to conclusions.

Ideally, confronting such situations should be done in person, or at least by phone.  These more traditional options allow for a much more interactive, interpersonal exchange and permit both sides to perceive essential nonverbal communications.  In short, when faced with such a situation, ask for a meeting or pick up the phone to discuss it, rather than sending a nasty email message without time to reflect.   It is equally important not to make assumptions or jump to conclusions without providing the other side the opportunity to explain and also to give the other side the benefit of the doubt, especially if you have developed a good working professional relationship.  Finally, don’t try to take strategic advantage of another’s mistake for short term potential gain.  Professionalism typically takes more work, but it is almost always worth it in the long run.  Next time the mistake may be yours.

I was reminded recently of these important principles.  Fortunately, both sides followed these basic but important steps and acted very professionally.  As a result, a potentially bad situation was quickly resolved, which then resulted in corrective action to quickly fix the mistake and the professionals were able to continue their good working relationship and focus on advancing their client’s interests.  The situation reminded me of the words of wisdom from a seasoned professional:  “Clients don’t hire us to pick a fight but to solve their problems.”  I just hope that the next time I am reminded of these important professionalism principles, it is as a result of someone else’s mistake.

~~~~~

 *Any opinion or views expressed in blogs posted on this site are those of the identified author and not the Committee as a whole.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

E-mails: The Most Efficient but Not Always the Most Effective or Professional Mode of Communication

Posted By Colleen Glatfelter, Tuesday, December 8, 2015

By: Linda Funke Johnson

                Electronic communications, such as e-mails and texts, are often the most efficient and sometimes the most effective modes of communication.   However, they are not always the best way to communicate information in a professional setting.   While it is easy to resort to an email communication when difficult professional issues arise, it is important to remember that making a simple phone call, in lieu of or in addition to an email correspondence, may salvage a relationship or a professional reputation. 

For example, an electronic communication rarely is going to be the most professional way to terminate a long-term professional relationship, whether with a client or colleague, although it may be the easiest and most expedient.   One way to decide whether to take action through an electronic communication is to place yourself in the shoes of the recipient.   You would likely be in disbelief if a decades-long professional relationship with a trusted colleague or client was terminated through a one-dimensional, impersonal email.  It likely would feel like a hammer shattering the familiarity of such a long-term professional relationship. 

                While such a communication likely would be effective and meet all the ethical requirements of Rule 1.16(d) for terminating representation, it almost certainly would leave a poor professional taste and also could negatively impact the sender’s reputation.  With the advent of email communication among attorneys, it is easy to relay less than desirable news in this manner, but there are matters that should not be left solely to email.  An in-person meeting or at least a call, followed up by email correspondence, usually would be the more professional route to take in such situations.

~~~~~

 *Any opinion or views expressed in blogs posted on this site are those of the identified author and not the Committee as a whole.

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 

A New and Improved Scam Targeting Lawyers

Posted By Colleen Glatfelter, Monday, November 23, 2015

By Peter Bolac and Leanor Bailey Hodge,  NC State Bar 

The State Bar often receives reports of frauds and scams on lawyer trust accounts.  When these scams are successful in duping the lawyer, they can result in losses as high as six-figures.  The three major types of scams are:  (1) email initiated counterfeit bank checks, (2) forged trust account checks, and (3) compromised wire instructions.  A brief summary of each of the aforementioned scams can be found in the April 2015 edition of the Lawyers Mutual Newsletter.

In April 2015, the State Bar learned of a new scam targeting real estate lawyers. This scam has already caused hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars in losses in North Carolina, and millions more nationwide.  This scam targets lawyers in the following way:

First, the scammer compromises the email account of a party to a real estate transaction (the real estate agent, the buyer, the seller, or even the lawyer).  By gaining access to the email address of one of the parties, the scammer learns all of the information related to the closing, including the amounts to be paid, the closing date, the name of the closing lawyer, and the names and email address of the buyers and sellers.  The scammer creates an email address that is nearly identical to that of the original email account compromised.  Often, the fraudulent email address has only one letter that is different than the email address that was compromised.  Using the fraudulent email address, the scammer sends the closing lawyer an email that purports to be from the owner of the compromised email address.  This email usually includes language to the following effect:  “Mr. and Mrs. Smith have notified me that they will be out of town for the next few weeks and request that you wire the sale proceeds to their bank account instead of sending a check.  I’ve attached wire instructions.  If you have questions, please call Mr. Smith at 919.555.1515.  Thanks!”

When the closing lawyer, who is duly diligent, calls the number to confirm the request with his client, he calls the number provided in the email.  The man who answers the telephone identifies himself as Mr. Smith and confirms the amounts and wire instructions.  Now, confident in the authenticity of the instructions, the attorney wires the proceeds of the sale to the account as listed in the wire instructions provided in the email.  We all know what happens next….

 If you think that you are the target of a scam, you can contact Peter Bolac, NC State Bar Trust Account Compliance Counsel, to determine whether it fits the profile of a scam of which the State Bar is aware.

~~~~~

 *Any opinion or views expressed in blogs posted on this site are those of the identified author and not the Committee as a whole.

 

This post has not been tagged.

Share |
PermalinkComments (0)
 
Page 7 of 13
1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13