2018 (8)
12 Days of Ethics

Date: 12/14/2018

12 Days of Ethics

Topic Summary:

On the twelfth day of Christmas, WTLA gave to me, twelve solutions to celebrating the holidays without thinking about a pending bar complaint. From the pages of days past, our presenters, Joanne Sweeney and Jeff Van Fleet, will present 12 ethical issues to avoid in your law practice.

Approved for 1 hr. Ethics

 

About Your Speakers:

Joanne Sweeney’s passion is criminal defense.  She works tirelessly to ensure the rights of her clients are protected with compassion, understanding and competence.  She represents individual defendants in all criminal matters from petty misdemeanors to serious felonies in State District and Federal District Courts.

Joanne also practices domestic relations law where she represents individuals in divorce, child custody and custody modification cases.  She has also served as a Guardian ad Litem and mediator in contested divorce and child custody cases.  Joanne always strives to seek the best outcome possible for her clients with unparalleled advocacy.

Jeff Van Fleet has spent the bulk of his life in the Rocky Mountains. He utilizes his diverse background to provide quality legal representation with compassion. Jeff is a graduate of the University of Wyoming College of Law. He spent nearly 18 years as a law enforcement officer in Colorado, and served 4 years with the United States Marine Corps. Jeff has managed a variety of cases in both Wyoming and Colorado, representing clients residing locally and internationally. His experience as a law enforcement officer and business owner gives him unique insight into the law. Jeff practices in Family Law, Civil Litigation, Trust & Estates, Real Estate, Immigration, Mediation, Criminal Law, and Other Areas as Needed.

Alex Webber is an associate at Woodhouse Roden Nethercott, LLC. She moved to Wyoming to finish her undergraduate degree and returned to attend the University of Wyoming College of Law.

While attending law school, Alex was a student intern of the Family & Child Advocacy Clinic and Estate Planning Practicum.  She externed at WTLA and studied abroad in Madrid one summer during law school and then interned at Woodhouse Roden Nethercott, LLC the next summer.  During her final year of law school she participated in the Spence Law Firm Historic Trial, United States v. Meriwether Lewis and Silas Goodrich, as co-defense counsel for Meriwether Lewis.

Topic Summary:

According to the 2014 ABA Legal Technology Survey, nearly half of the law firms participating in the study reported being infected with viruses, spyware or malware. Even more concerning is approximately 14 percent of the participating law firms experienced a security breach in the past year in the form of a lost or stolen computer or smartphone, a hacker, a break-in, or a website exploit and all indications are that this number will continue to rise given the incredible rate of growth of cybercrime. Taken together, one can surmise that cybercrime is going to continue to be a serious concern for the foreseeable future. The real issue that must be addressed given that these kinds of breaches are occurring is this. What might the fallout be for any attorney or firm whose system is involved in a data breach event? After all, if client confidences or funds are lost while in possession of an attorney, would not liability for any resulting harm to the client fall on the attorney? Of course it would. This program will discuss how computer breaches occur, what can be done to minimize the chances of a breach, detail the fallout of a breach, and talk about how one can manage the risk.

About Your Speaker:

Since 1998, Mark Bassingthwaighte, Esq. has been a Risk Manager with ALPS, an attorney’s professional liability insurance carrier. In his tenure with the company, Mr. Bassingthwaighte has conducted over 1100 law firm risk management assessment visits, presented numerous continuing legal education seminars throughout the United States, and written extensively on risk management and technology. Mr. Bassingthwaighte is a member of the ABA and currently sits on the ABA’s Law Practice Division’s Professional Development Board, the Division’s Ethics and Professionalism Committee and Lawyer Leadership & Management Committee, and he serves as the Division’s Liaison to the ABA’s Standing Committee on Lawyers Professional Liability. He received his J.D. from Drake University Law School and his undergraduate degree from Gettysburg College.

- See more at: https://www.wytla.org/?pg=events&evAction=showDetail&eid=28874#sthash.BDVKyDdH.dpuf

Topic Summary: The program will be a review of recent WYOMING cases that involved the WRE and the application of those rules of evidence to the practice of law in Wyoming.

Your Speaker:

F.R. “Francois” Chapman is a partner in Chapman Valdez & Lansing in Casper and Kelly, Wyoming, a primarily litigation practice firm emphasizing Plaintiffs’ representation in bad faith insurance, personal injury, civil rights, employment law, and complex litigation. Chapman Valdez & Lansing represents and consults with a number of medical and legal practices in Wyoming regarding professional licensing and practices. They also provide criminal defense in State and Federal Courts across Wyoming.

Mr. Chapman received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Wyoming in 1976. He worked as a special assistant in the criminal division for the Wyoming Attorney General, during and after law school. He was appointed and served as the Laramie County Public Defender in 1977.

In July 1978, Mr. Chapman was appointed Wyoming’s first State Public Defender by Governor Ed Herschler. He established offices and hired lawyers in all 23 Wyoming Counties, hired a new staff of 35, edited and published the Public Defender Systems Criminal Defense Form Manual, which is still in use by the Public Defenders, and tried seven murder cases around the State as Public Defender. Mr. Chapman has been in private practice since November, 1980.

Mr. Chapman’s legal practice specifically involves insurance bad faith, serious personal injury, emphasizing head, brain and spine injuries and wrongful death; complex business and other litigation & litigation management, professional practice and licensing consulting, and a wide variety of criminal defense matters ranging from traffic court to capital homicide.

Mr. Chapman practices from his offices in Casper and Jackson Hole, and from his home office in Kelly, Wyoming. His hobbies are reading, hunting and fishing. He is a Wyoming native; married, and has five children ranging in age from 15 to 40 years. His daughter Anne is practicing law in Phoenix as a partner at the Osborne Maledon firm. She is a former federal public defender from the eastern district of Virginia.

 

- See more at: https://www.wytla.org/?pg=events&evAction=showDetail&eid=27216#sthash.6NAFOLRN.dpuf

Topic Summary: Contemplation of criminal action: Investigation, charging, and bond as viewed by prosecution and defense.

Your Speakers:

Loretta R. Howieson Gerrard is the Uinta County and Prosecuting Attorney, assuming office on January 4, 2015.   Ms. Gerrard served as Chief Trial Deputy for the Uinta County Attorney's Office from October 2007 to July 2011 and was honored to serve as an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the District of Wyoming from October 2005 to October 2007.  She has operated Gerrard Law, LLC, since July 2011, with a brief partnership with Vehar & Gerrard Law Firm, Inc., from May 2012 to May 2013, and acted as Associate at Buchhammer and Kehl, P.C., from January 2001 to October 2005.  Ms. Gerrard has handled felony prosecutions, including murder, misdemeanor, juvenile and emergency detention cases, and civil litigation in a variety of areas.

Alex H. Sitz III graduated from Indiana State University in 1998, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science and he thereafter pursued his Juris Doctorate from the University of Wyoming College of Law, graduating in 2002. He was sworn into the Wyoming State Bar in October, 2002.  Alex was born in Michigan, the oldest of three boys. However, he was raised in a small agricultural community in Jasper County, Indiana, where he grew up working on a family farm, and later pursued his love of sports playing football at Indiana State University. He thereafter moved to Wyoming in 1998, to attend law school and begin his legal career.
After graduating from law school, he began his career as a deputy county and prosecuting attorney for Hot Springs County, Wyoming, gaining invaluable experience in criminal law and trial practice matters.  He moved to Cody, Wyoming in 2004 to join the firm of Simonton and Simonton, where he also began working with his current law partner, M. Jalie Meinecke. He and his law partner began their partnership together in September 2005 with the establishment of Meinecke & Sitz, LLC located in Cody, Wyoming. Alex serves as a current board member for WTLA, Legal Aid of Wyoming, and for his local Little League Baseball affiliate.  He also coaches little league baseball and is an active member of his local Knights of Columbus council serving as their Grand Knight.

Topic Summary: Contemplation of criminal action: Investigation, charging, and bond as viewed by prosecution and defense.

Your Speakers:

Loretta R. Howieson Gerrard is the Uinta County and Prosecuting Attorney, assuming office on January 4, 2015.   Ms. Gerrard served as Chief Trial Deputy for the Uinta County Attorney's Office from October 2007 to July 2011 and was honored to serve as an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the District of Wyoming from October 2005 to October 2007.  She has operated Gerrard Law, LLC, since July 2011, with a brief partnership with Vehar & Gerrard Law Firm, Inc., from May 2012 to May 2013, and acted as Associate at Buchhammer and Kehl, P.C., from January 2001 to October 2005.  Ms. Gerrard has handled felony prosecutions, including murder, misdemeanor, juvenile and emergency detention cases, and civil litigation in a variety of areas.

Alex H. Sitz III graduated from Indiana State University in 1998, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science and he thereafter pursued his Juris Doctorate from the University of Wyoming College of Law, graduating in 2002. He was sworn into the Wyoming State Bar in October, 2002.  Alex was born in Michigan, the oldest of three boys. However, he was raised in a small agricultural community in Jasper County, Indiana, where he grew up working on a family farm, and later pursued his love of sports playing football at Indiana State University. He thereafter moved to Wyoming in 1998, to attend law school and begin his legal career.
After graduating from law school, he began his career as a deputy county and prosecuting attorney for Hot Springs County, Wyoming, gaining invaluable experience in criminal law and trial practice matters.  He moved to Cody, Wyoming in 2004 to join the firm of Simonton and Simonton, where he also began working with his current law partner, M. Jalie Meinecke. He and his law partner began their partnership together in September 2005 with the establishment of Meinecke & Sitz, LLC located in Cody, Wyoming.
Alex serves as a current board member for WTLA, Legal Aid of Wyoming, and for his local Little League Baseball affiliate.  He also coaches little league baseball and is an active member of his local Knights of Columbus council serving as their Grand Knight.
Alex is married and the couple have been blessed with three young sons, and a daughter due in February 2016. 

- See more at: https://www.wytla.org/?pg=events&evAction=showDetail&eid=26728&evSubAction=listAll#sthash.t68Unsdf.dpuf

Topic Summary: Contemplation of criminal action: Investigation, charging, and bond as viewed by prosecution and defense.

Your Speakers:

Loretta R. Howieson Gerrard is the Uinta County and Prosecuting Attorney, assuming office on January 4, 2015.   Ms. Gerrard served as Chief Trial Deputy for the Uinta County Attorney's Office from October 2007 to July 2011 and was honored to serve as an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the District of Wyoming from October 2005 to October 2007.  She has operated Gerrard Law, LLC, since July 2011, with a brief partnership with Vehar & Gerrard Law Firm, Inc., from May 2012 to May 2013, and acted as Associate at Buchhammer and Kehl, P.C., from January 2001 to October 2005.  Ms. Gerrard has handled felony prosecutions, including murder, misdemeanor, juvenile and emergency detention cases, and civil litigation in a variety of areas.

Alex H. Sitz III graduated from Indiana State University in 1998, earning a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science and he thereafter pursued his Juris Doctorate from the University of Wyoming College of Law, graduating in 2002. He was sworn into the Wyoming State Bar in October, 2002.  Alex was born in Michigan, the oldest of three boys. However, he was raised in a small agricultural community in Jasper County, Indiana, where he grew up working on a family farm, and later pursued his love of sports playing football at Indiana State University. He thereafter moved to Wyoming in 1998, to attend law school and begin his legal career.
After graduating from law school, he began his career as a deputy county and prosecuting attorney for Hot Springs County, Wyoming, gaining invaluable experience in criminal law and trial practice matters.  He moved to Cody, Wyoming in 2004 to join the firm of Simonton and Simonton, where he also began working with his current law partner, M. Jalie Meinecke. He and his law partner began their partnership together in September 2005 with the establishment of Meinecke & Sitz, LLC located in Cody, Wyoming.
Alex serves as a current board member for WTLA, Legal Aid of Wyoming, and for his local Little League Baseball affiliate.  He also coaches little league baseball and is an active member of his local Knights of Columbus council serving as their Grand Knight.
Alex is married and the couple have been blessed with three young sons, and a daughter due in February 2016. 

- See more at: https://www.wytla.org/?pg=events&evAction=showDetail&eid=26728#sthash.mTppoblb.dpuf