|1. A solo practitioner who does not have an estate plan for his or her
law practice is engaging in professional malpractice.
2. The duty of competence includes
the mental and physical ability to perform legal services competently.
3. A trustee or "buddy" designated to manage your law practice does not need
to be a lawyer.
4. The superior courts can supervise a dead or disabled lawyer's law practice.
5. The designation of a personal representative can result in immediate appointment of
a law practice administrator to preserve the assets of the law practice.
6. A solo practitioner's wishes as to the appointment of a law practice administrator
7. A lawyer may nominate one lawyer to serve as the estate's personal representative
and law practice administrator.
8. If a solo practitioner transfers the economic interest of a practice to a trustee
and the lawyer is disabled or deceased, the trustee may not seek the assistance of the
9. In creating trust documents for the operation and management of a solo practice in
the event of disability, it is important to set a time for the law office trustee's powers
10. Lawyers who undertake unfinished legal business of a disabled or deceased lawyer
may not allow any third person to interfere with the member's independence of professional
11. If a buddy/trustee is going to work on client matters, it may be helpful to
disclose under what circumstances the buddy/trustee is authorized to work on client
matters to protect their interests and the compensation arrangement.
12. It is unnecessary to appoint a trust to take control over a client's trust account
since any one can be a signatory on the client's trust account.
13. Having a buddy/trustee as a signatory on your client's trust account will enable
the buddy/trustee to handle any client trust account matter at any time that the sole
practitioner is not available, including when the practitioner is on vacation.
14. There are no disadvantages to having another lawyer as a co-signatory on a client's
trust account of a sole practitioner.
15. A power of attorney that authorizes a buddy/trustee to take control of all
operating and clients' trust accounts in certain designated circumstances is another means
of providing for the management of a sole practice if a lawyer dies or is disabled.
16. If a lawyer dies, the practice must be wound down.
17. A personal representative/
buddy/trustee may petition the superior court for the appointment of a law practice
administrator pursuant to Probate Code §2468, §9764, §17200(b)(22) & (23) and Bus.
& Prof. C. §6185 or for the superior court to assume jurisdiction over the practice
pursuant to Bus. & Prof. C. §§6180 and 6190 et seq.
18. Rule 1-320, Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibits fee splitting between a
lawyer and non-lawyers, prohibits a lawyer from paying legal fees to a deceased lawyer's
19. Rule 1-320, Rules of Professional Conduct, which prohibits fee splitting between a
lawyer and non-lawyers, prohibits a lawyer from paying legal fees to a disabled lawyer's
20. A law practice administrator may agree to the sale of a law practice and its good
will for any price he or she believes is appropriate.
This activity has been approved for Minimum
Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1 hour,
of which 1 hour will apply to legal ethics.
The State Bar of California certifies that this
activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the
rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal