Session 1: Basic Joint Operating Agreements in Oil, Gas, and Mineral Law - Discuss the purposes for a Joint Operating Agreement, its basic structure and issues that arise in its interpretation.
Session 2: Drilling Contracts and Master Services Agreements - Drilling contracts and service contracts are the most common agreements involved in oilfield operations and risk allocation issues. Focus on getting the right indemnity and insurance provisions for your company and avoiding potential pitfalls involving enforceability and indemnity structure. Learn about specific concerns relating to use of the IADC Onshore Drilling Contract form.
Session 3: Update on Surface Use Agreements and Disputes - With the continuing expansion of the traditional and alternative energy sectors in Texas, surface use agreements must be carefully drafted in order to balance conflicting surface uses of the same property. Hear practical guidance for negotiating agreements and navigating disputes over shared use, including an update on recent cases affecting surface disputes.
Session 4: LNG Commercial Models and Challenges Update - Hear an overview of various LNG commercial models offered by first and second wave U.S. LNG export projects. Cover how the choice of project structure may affect the commercial model and marketing efforts.
Session 5: Hedging Oil and Gas Production - An introduction to managing risks associated with the sale of oil and gas production. Examine the benefits and mechanics of hedging, commonly used hedging contracts, and practical considerations impacting hedging transactions.
Session 6: LIBOR and Letters of Intent - Market trends and issues regarding the replacement of LIBOR in transactional documentation and ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ or ‘best practices’ for the drafting of the document that typically is the precursor to any significant transaction – the letter of intent.
Session 7: The Digital Fin-Tech Revolution Continues - Listen to a discussion about how gas and power companies, and their lenders, compete and comply with cyber-security concerns. Review concerns including blockchain applications, smart contracts, virtual currency, new data privacy standards (e.g., EU’s GDPR), and fin-tech architects collaborating with regulators to provide “regulatory nodes” to give the government windows of real-time transparency into smart contracts, blockchains and commodity trading. “Isn’t that like inviting a vampire into your house?”
Session 8: Ethics in Contracting Issues - Using hypotheticals, this presentation focuses on a number of ethics issues that might arise in contracting situations. Can lawyers take advantage of privileged communications the adversary inadvertently sends them? Can lawyers receiving electronic documents look for hidden metadata the other side has not scrubbed? What duties do lawyers have in representing contracting parties, with regards to disclosing client confidences to prevent the adversary from being deceived about the clients' intent, or to correct the adversary's misunderstanding about the law, the contract's terms, or the adversary's scriveners error?
Session 9: Nuts and Bolts Ethics for the Business and Transactional Lawyer - A practical discussion of current ethics topics related to business and transactional law, including conflicts issues, and attorney migration between firms. more »
Session 1: What Small and Mid-Size Businesses Need to Know About GDPR - The EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been a game-changer for companies of all sizes. Learn the important details of GDPR including who it applies to, recent guidance from European Data Protection Authorities, and how to gauge and mitigate the risk to your organization.
Session 2: California and Other Privacy Law Developments in the Wake of GDPR - Review upcoming California Consumer Privacy Act requirements for covered businesses, hear about operational trade-offs in charting a compliance pathway for privacy, and learn about emerging privacy regimes both here in the US and internationally.
Session 3: Do You Know Where Your Data is?: Data Sharing and the State of the Law - Modern companies are awash in data. Employees generate it and are usually looking for the most efficient way to share it internally and externally. Review the myriad of problems that can occur even with the most well-meaning of employees. From the possible export control risks of emailing technical information to an overseas colleague, to using Dropbox and other file sharing sites to exchange information, to providing data to contract employees, and more, explore the state of the law as it relates to data and what can happen if you lose control of it.
Session 4: Data Breaches, Big Data, and FTC Oversight - Learn how and why the FTC polices data breaches and the collection and exploitation of big data.
Session 5: Protecting Client Information-Cyber Protection Duties as an Attorney - Explore the ethical and legal obligations of attorneys and law firms to protect client data and communications from the latest cybersecurity threats.
Session 6: Ethics and Professionalism in a Global Environment - Ethics and professionalism are being influenced by many factors in today’s global environment. Consider some of these factors, along with areas of commonality amongst the legal ethics rules from a sampling of jurisdictions.
Session 7: Law Firm Data Security and the Ethical Duty of Technology Competence - As clients demand attorneys deliver legal services more efficiently by using technology it increases pressure to have technical knowledge and proficiency. Further, the American Bar Association and 28 states have created a model rule for the ethical duty of technology competence. Hear an overview of the significant material risks and impact on a law firm following a breach and the potential consequences from an ethics and disciplinary perspective. more »
Session 1: Investigations in Today's Woke Workplace - A veteran workplace investigator shares critical tips for ensuring that every complaint investigation is thorough, in good faith, and reliable in the midst of the #MeToo movement, instant social media postings, and polarizing employee relations issues.
Session 2: Reputational Risk: Managing Perceptions with Image Repair - When the reputation of the client is uncertain and “no comment” is not an option, hear from a public relations veteran and an employment attorney on strategies for communicating with the public and employees. This discussion includes the advanced Image Repair Theory crisis communication guide, coordinating the legal and communications team, and the professional ethical rules that govern lawyers when speaking about ongoing conflict.
Session 3: The Boundaries of Employee Free Speech - As social media continues to evolve, employees are increasingly able to express their personal opinions on current events to wider audiences. Examine the rights of employees to express their views both inside and outside the workplace, and the competing rights of public and private employers to respond to those views when they conflict with their own values or those of their customers or employees. Explore when an employer may actually be obligated to take action against an employee for views expressed outside the workplace, including discussion of real-world situations like the events of Charlottesville, VA, the viral misogynistic "manifesto" written by an engineer employed by a giant in the technology industry, and an NFL player’s decision to take a stand by taking a knee.
Session 4: The New Gender and Sexuality - Legal update and practical workplace impact of social and cultural shifts with respect to the evolving terminology and variety of gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation.
Session 5: Age Discrimination: A New Kind of Generation Gap - The Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) just celebrated the 50th anniversary of its enactment. With an aging baby boomer population, employees working past traditional retirement age, and millennials moving into management positions—these issues are more important than ever. Listen to strategies for managing multi-generational workforces and preventing age discrimination claims.
Session 6: Best Practices in Dispute Resolution - Get practical tips on how to anticipate, avoid, evaluate, negotiate, and resolve workplace conflicts from a mediator and arbitrator with 45 years of experience representing employees and employers.
Session 7: Emerging from the Shadows: Unconscious Bias in the Workplace - While the existence of unconscious bias is inevitable, the way we deal with hidden biases in the workplace is enormously important. Examine how unconscious bias may influence workplace decisions and interactions, and discuss the latest approaches and legal implications for addressing it.
Session 8: Combatting Hostile Environments: Risks of “Workplace Civility” Policies - Anti-harassment policies that prohibit only conduct that is strictly unlawful do not go far enough to guarantee a respectful workplace for employees. But broadly-drafted policies that require civility in workplace interactions can have unintended consequences. Examine the pros and cons of policies that go beyond unlawful behavior, and what they can mean for you and your clients.
Session 9: Rights on Trial: How Workplace Discrimination Law Perpetuates Inequality - Understand the fundamental tensions in anti-discrimination law, how it impacts plaintiffs and defendants in the litigation system, and hear practical recommendations for how to better respond to persistent patterns of discrimination.
Session 10: Ethics for Employment Lawyers- Get updated on cutting-edge ethics issues, including attorney-client privilege and waiver issues, ex parte communications, access to social media and computer information, inadvertent disclosure and improper acquisition of confidential information, litigation holds and spoliation issues, and settlement negotiations. more »
Session 1: Artificial Intelligence and its Effect on the Legal Industry - AI is getting a lot of attention, creating fears and in many cases unrealistic expectations. Explore the reality of AI, how it practically can impact legal work flows, and how it can be a positive force that enables lawyers to do their jobs faster, cheaper and better for their clients.
Session 2: Strategic Use of E-Discovery - Fewer than one out of a hundred cases are tried. Accordingly, discovery strategy is often more vital than trial strategy. Yet, strategic use of e-discovery garners little attention, perhaps because the fundamentals demand so much focus that there is little room for flourishes. If you only know one way of doing things, how do you act strategically? Review methods to deploy e-discovery strategically, mindful of our opponent’s fears, goals, and pain points … as well as our own.
Session 3: eDiscovery for Every Case – Even the Small Ones! - From the largest class actions to small individual claims, almost all litigation matters touch on some form of electronic discovery. Learn about key issues related to preservation, collection, processing, and review of electronically stored evidence, along with some of the latest tools and technology that can help you make the most of your time and resources regardless of case size.
Session 4: Authentication of Electronic Evidence - Learn how to authenticate electronic evidence without having to rely on an expert.
Session 5: Hearsay in a Digital World - Review important hearsay issues, with an emphasis on hearsay appearing in social media, texts, and other new media.
Session 6: Getting from Internet to Evidence - Social media can be a goldmine in certain cases, if you can discover relevant data and get it into evidence. Learn ethical methods of eDiscovery related to social media, the nuts and bolts of admitting social media data into evidence, and strategies for using that evidence on both liability and damages claims.
Session 7: Social Media and Homeowners Insurance: Are Your Facebook Posts Covered? - Litigation stemming from social media activities has exploded in recent years. While the defendants in these cases often look to their homeowners insurance for protection, the typical policy gives insurers multiple ways out.
Session 8: Data Security Breach Litigation - Review what a litigator needs in order to prepare a client for litigation or an investigation by regulators after a data security breach. Takeaways include protocol for preserving the attorney client privilege and evidence before, during and after a breach; cybersecurity liability insurance litigation updates; and creating proof points, including a discussion of cybersecurity best practices and "cybersecurity basics," to effectively minimize damages, fines and penalties.
Session 9: Law Firm Data Security and the Ethical Duty of Technology Competence - As clients demand attorneys deliver legal services more efficiently by using technology it increases pressure to have technical knowledge and proficiency. Further, the American Bar Association and 28 states have created a model rule for the ethical duty of technology competence. Hear an overview of the significant material risks and impact on a law firm following a breach and the potential consequences from an ethics and disciplinary perspective. more »
Session 1: A Checklist for Commercial Loans - Examine lender requirements for closing a commercial real estate loan transaction, highlighting issues and pitfalls that can surface and derail almost any closing.
Session 2: Effective Risk Management - A text book on the three legged stool – indemnity, insurance, and waivers of subrogation – contractual provisions for risk management. Also hear about mutual waivers and how to structure indemnities when a mutual waiver is provided, certificates, and self-insurance.
Session 3: Overview of 2017 Updated Construction Contracts with Key Negotiating Tips and Review Points - Review the updated 2017 AIA documents, as well as some specialty AIA documents published for the first time or updated subsequent to 2007 with annotations. Also review some of the key 2017 updates in the AIA construction contracts, and hear key negotiating tips or review concerns when representing owners and lenders.
Session 4: HVCRE Changes and Other Federal Codes, Restrictions and Guidelines to Commercial Real Estate Lending - Hear an update on HVCRE, as well as those other important – but often unknown – federal codes, guidelines, and restrictions that impact commercial real estate lending, and get drafting suggestions to make sure your documents stay up to date.
Session 5: Land Use Law in the Loan Process: Issue Spotting and Resolution - Explore land use due diligence for a loan and alternatives to keep the loan proceeding to closing, with insight into both public land use (zoning, platting, permitting, and development agreements) and private land use (deed restrictions, easements, and reciprocal agreements).
Session 6: Responding to the Title Commitment and Survey - An outline and discussion of the analysis of a title commitment, types of responses for buyer's and lender’s counsel, and integrating the survey into the title commitment.
Session 7: Title Insurance: Closing Protection Letters - Take a closer look at closing protection letters—what they do, what they don’t do, and why you need them in real estate transactions—and gain timely insight into trends in closing protection letters and liability in the real estate settlement process.
Session 8: Title Policy Key Provisions, The Duty to Defend, and Claims - Focus on key provisions of the title insurance policy including determination and timing of loss, duty of defense, and exclusions from coverage. Discuss recent cases and how Texas courts have construed these provisions.
Session 9: Practical Advice for Cleaning Up Title Issues - Title issues are common creatures, and there are often straightforward ways to resolve them. Get practical advice on clearing title issues quickly and efficiently.
Session 10: Foreclosure Refresher: The Updated Basics - Get a step-by-step refresher on the foreclosure process, with a focus on practical concerns, and an update regarding recent statutory changes and case law impacting the process.
Session 11: How to Foreclose Personal Property - Gain practical guidance on how to foreclose on personal property under Article 9 of the UCC and the Texas Business and Commerce Code. Discuss the issues that may arise, including how to give proper notice, conduct a private or public sale, and repossess and dispose of collateral. more »
Session 1: Special Needs Trusts: Decision Tree Analysis - Learn how to utilize a decision tree approach to ask and answer key questions concerning a client's need for a special needs trust, and if one is needed, which type of special needs trust is the best choice.
Session 2: Maximizing Public Benefits - Make note of top tips for establishing and maintaining public benefits, especially SSI, Medicaid, Medicare Savings Programs, Disabled Adult Child; and an update on the latest and greatest recent changes in public benefits.
Session 3: Seven Timeless Principles of SNT Planning - While laws, regulations, and rules impacting public benefits and trusts change frequently, certain planning principles do not change. Learn steps in the SNT design process to address individual circumstances, including basic program types, budgets, grantor and beneficiary expectations, and distribution planning.
Session 4: Making Sense of Structured Settlements - Structured settlements are often used to fund court-created SNTs in the personal injury context. Drafting attorneys and trustees need an understanding of the fundamental concepts of a structured settlement annuity and the effects one will have on the funding and administration of a trust.
Session 5: Pooled Trusts: A Creative Solution for Thorny Problems - Situations come up where a traditional special needs trust isn’t the best option and Pooled Trusts can provide a beneficial alternative. Not sure if there is a trustee available? Too much for an ABLE account? No viable family members available to serve? Pooled Trusts can serve as a your solution! Learn about the creative solutions The Arc of Texas and other pooled trusts can provide.
Session 6: SSA Regional Trust Leads Presentation Regarding SSI Trusts - A discussion with the Regional Trust Leads on the regional centralization of the SSI trust review business process, including the effect of updated trust policy on trust reviews. In addition, hear about the types of trust cases that require second-level review, drafting errors, and statistics regarding the number of trust cases SSA processes.
Session 7: Working with SSA: Tips on How to Avoid the Appeal - Gain tips on how to submit your trust for review so that you can get it approved and avoid a need for an appeal.
Session 8: View from CMS - A discussion with a representative of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services of current issues related to the Medicare Secondary Payer provisions. What's new, what's not. more »
Session 1: Medicaid-Friendly Estate Planning - Learn forms and strategies for preparing your clients (and sometimes their parents and children) to protect assets in case the need for long-term care arises. Forms will be provided and explained for Lady Bird Deeds, Transfer on Death Deeds, Revocable Trust as Grantee (of either type deed), and Medicaid-Friendly Contingent Trust.
Session 2: Durable Power of Attorney Update - Hear highlights of the new Statutory Durable Power of Attorney statute.
Session 3: Advising Clients Nearing 65 - Turning 65 can be a watershed event in our client's lives. They face many decisions about retirement, concerning Medicare, Social Security, and estate planning. Get tips to help you prepare to advise your clients about some of these important decisions.
Session 4: In Quest of the Perfect Medicaid Application - Although it may not be possible to guarantee that every Medicaid application will be accepted upon the first filing, learn time-tested tips to improve the odds.
Session 5: Role of the Guardian - Examine the duties and responsibilities of a guardian under Texas law and guardianship administration, from initiation to closing, including the code requirements of selling and leasing property, ethical issues, and more.
Session 6: Alternatives to Guardianship and Supports and Services - An examination of strategies on how to limit or obviate the need to create a guardianship.
Session 7: Practical Ways for Guardians and Caregivers to Prevent Scams and Exploitation - Hear a review of the most recurring scams targeting the elderly. Discuss legal recourses available for preventing an elderly individual from losing their entire estate to a scam.
Session 8: Defensive Case Management for Elder Law Attorneys - Learn a systematic approach to capturing data and using the system to defend against attempts by your clients' family members who want to involve you in disputes they have with other family members. more »
Session 1: What's New in the Renewable Energy Market? - Hear a lively update on developments affecting the renewable energy market.
Session 2: Tax Credits & Beyond: Financing Renewable Energy Projects – Where Do We Go From Here? - Will the pipeline for remaining 100% PTC projects get financed by end of 2020? What will happen to deal terms and structures as tax credits phase out? Has repowering gained traction? What storage project finance structures are being executed, with and without ITC? Hear a discussion of these questions and more!
Session 3: Regulatory Due Diligence Issues in Energy Financing - Survey the electric and environmental regulatory issues in generation project finance, including an examination of permitting, and electric and environmental regulatory issues from the perspective of developers, lenders and tax equity investors. Learn how parties approach these issues and how developers can organize and prepare their information to allow for an efficient due diligence process.
Session 4: Opportunities and Challenges for Battery Storage Projects - A discussion addressing the opportunities and challenges in developing and financing stand-alone and “hybrid” (generation + storage) battery storage projects today, including current deal structures and tax and policy issues, and an evaluation of where future growth is expected in the battery storage market.
Session 5: Utility Scale Solar Leases and Related Documents - Legal Considerations for Landowners and Developers - Focus on issues encountered when drafting and negotiating utility scale solar leases and related land control documents. Hear both developer and landowner viewpoints on common clauses and issues such as lease financeability, mineral development, and compensation arrangements; and explore ancillary documents such as options, surface waivers, and transmission line easements.
Session 6: “Boilerplate” Clauses in Wind Lease Agreements - What lawyers should know about common “boilerplate” clauses in wind lease agreements including insurance provisions, indemnity provisions, lender protections, estoppel clauses, and assignment clauses.
Session 7: EPC Contract Considerations for Renewable Energy Projects - Engineering, procurement, and construction contracts (EPC contracts) are used for the development of renewable energy projects. This presentation will focus on key provisions in EPC contracts and issues arising thereunder, including, among others, liquidated damages, indemnity, warranties, limitations of liability, lender protections and requirements, and changed conditions. A discussion on developer and contractor competing interests and concerns, along with best practices, will also be covered.
Session 8: Public Lands - Hear from University Lands and the GLO with respect to renewable energy leases, agreements, surface waivers, and more, including a discussion of the application process and contract expectations.
Session 9: Distributed C&I PPAs: Overview and Trends - On-site rooftop, carport, and groundmount solar generation continues to expand. Hear key provisions of behind-the-meter commercial and industrial power purchase agreements, an overview of the typical project financing and contract structure, and highlights of some of the recent trends and developments shaping negotiations.
Session 10: Title and Survey Essentials: State Variances / Wind and Solar Distinguished - Learn the variances across state lines in title insurance practice and surveys for renewable energy projects, from available risk mitigation endorsements to pricing. Learn the differences in title risks and concerns in utility scale wind projects versus solar projects.
Session 11: Best Practices for Solar Development in Resolving Mineral Estate Issues - A general overview of relevant law in selected states concerning minerals, such as limitations acts, dormant mineral interest acts, surface damage laws, and statutory notice requirements. Review the doctrine of accommodation or due regard and consider title insurance and requirements, such as surface waivers or drill site agreements for available endorsements.
Session 12: Innovative Insurance and Risk Management Products and Emerging Trends in the Renewables Sector - Whether you’re looking to finance projects utilizing prototypical equipment and emerging technologies, create synthetic PPAs, or de-risk M&A transactions or tax positions, a host of commercially available products are available to facilitate your strategic goals in an ever changing insurance marketplace. Learn examples of how various insurance and risk management products have transferred risk and reduced uncertainties that can stand in the way of developing, financing, acquiring or divesting projects utilizing a variety of renewable energy technologies.
Session 13: Conflicts of Interest in Renewable Energy - Using hypotheticals, this interactive presentation will address conflicts of interest that can arise when renewable energy deal participants arrange for a joint representation, enter into a common interest agreement, create a joint venture, or otherwise work together. more »
Session 1: Back to Basics: Exemption Fundamentals - An overview of exemption under 501(c), and primarily 501(c)(3), examining what it means to be nonprofit and charitable, the organizational and operational tests, private benefit and private inurement, private foundations and public charities, unrelated business income, lobbying and political campaign activities, procedural matters, and more.
Session 2: Back to Basics: Revenue Generating Activities and Tax Compliance - An overview of revenue-generating activities, including how to distinguish between related and unrelated activities, taxable and nontaxable unrelated activities, and how to structure activities for the result that the organization wants. Also a (quick) look at whether and when unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) is a “bad thing” and what to do about it if it is becoming a problem.
Session 3: Governance Literacy - Governance at nonprofit organizations is often not a priority until something goes wrong. Gain practical tips to help board and staff members avoid problems, and review governance topics including fiduciary duties, governing documents, policies, procedures, and the roles of the board, officers, committees, and staff members.
Session 4: Violations of Chapter 42: How to Identify, Correct, and Report While Minimizing Audit Risks - Focus on the Chapter 42 excise tax regime applicable to private foundations and the strategic and compliance issues and considerations relating to identifying, managing, reporting, and correcting such transactions.
Session 5: Navigating Self-Dealing and Conflicts of Interest in an Increasingly Interconnected Environment - Gain tools and ideas to avoid self-dealing penalties for private foundations. The code provision has some flexibility and exceptions for compensation, co-investing, and family offices, but once an impermissible deal occurs, the cash or property involved must be returned and the penalty cannot be abated. Reasonable cause concepts don’t apply!
Session 6: The Sky is Not Falling: Tools for Managing Risk - A discussion on understanding, planning for, managing, and funding risk by focusing on practical tools public charities can use.
Session 7: Anatomy of an Attorney General Investigation - Explore the various aspects of an investigation of a charitable organization by the Texas Attorney General’s Office. Learn how and why an investigation may be initiated, what to anticipate as part of the investigative process, the potential consequences of an investigation, and best practices for dealing with an investigation.
Session 8: Funding Advocacy: A Roadmap for Private Foundations - Take that “no lobbying” language out of your private foundation grant agreements! Or at least some of them. Explore various ways in which 501(c)(3) private foundations may make grants that support lobbying and other types of advocacy.
Session 9: Top Privacy Issues for Nonprofits - Just a few years ago, companies considered information security and privacy issues to be a matter left solely for the IT department. But today, for-profit and nonprofit Boards and Executive Directors are realizing that the responsibility to protect consumer and donor data is shared across the enterprise. Learn about the trending privacy laws that all nonprofits should know about and best practices for how to comply.
Session 10: Investigations in Today's Woke Workplace - A veteran workplace investigator shares critical tips for ensuring that every complaint investigation is thorough, in good faith, and reliable in the midst of the #MeToo movement, instant social media postings, and polarizing employee relations issues. more »
Session 1: Appellate Tips from the Experts - Get a view from both sides of the criminal bar with practical tips on how appellate advocates and appellate courts can make their briefs and opinions interesting, easier to understand, and less likely to inflame the opposing side or losing party.
Session 2: Mandamus - Listen to a discussion about Texas mandamus law in criminal cases, and explore how the cases are litigated at the appellate level.
Session 3: Pretrial Writs: Tips from Both Sides of the Aisle - Learn how to raise, litigate, and defend pretrial writs from both the prosecution and defense perspectives.
Session 4: Actual Innocence Claims and 11.073 Writs - Analyze legal issues in actual innocence claims, with particular focus on false evidence leading to wrongful convictions and wrongful convictions based on invalid scientific testimony.
Session 5: A Guide To Art. 11.07 Writs of Habeas Corpus and Other State Writs - Examine procedures, issues, and do’s and don’ts pertaining to Article 11.07 and other State writs.
Session 6: Emerging Issues in PDRs - Listen to a discussion about significant and emerging issues pending in the Court of Criminal Appeals.
Session 7: Preservation of Error and Standards of Review - Understanding how the Court evaluates the preservation of error on appeal is essential for any practitioner. Explore how the Court approaches different rights, and how this approach impacts your appeal.
Session 8: The Court’s Charge: Was it Right? Did it Hurt? - Examine jury charge issues that commonly cause error on appeal, including lesser-included offense instructions.
Session 9: Morton Case Law Update - Analyze significant decisions handed down since the Michael Morton Act was enacted and discuss what they mean for the prosecution and defense.
Session 10: “Brady” Case Law Update - Explore the practical application of Brady v. Maryland, Article 39.14, and Disciplinary Rule 3.09(d), recent case law, and emerging issues under those ethical provisions.
Session 11: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel - Review how to investigate, develop, and prosecute the most important type of claim in post-conviction litigation, and explore some of the fundamental legal principles associated with it.
Session 12: Prosecuting and Defending Motions for New Trial - Review the various uses for a motion for new trial including the procedures for filing a motion after trial and on appeal with perspectives from both a prosecutor and a defense attorney.
Session 13: Ethics for Post-Conviction Lawyers - Examine the ethical considerations facing attorneys in post-conviction representation. more »
Session 1: 2018 Case Law Update - Learn what Texas courts have said during the past year about important issues (fiduciary duties, piercing the entity veil, and more) in the LLC and partnership context.
Session 2: Federal Tax Update - Review rate considerations when considering entity selection, bonus depreciation considerations in planning acquisitions, new limitation on business losses, and other changes to the federal income tax law to consider when forming and structuring transactions under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
Session 3: 2018 Secretary of State Update - Get a practical overview of the new entity name standard, hear filing tips, and learn about other administrative issues from the Office of the Secretary of State.
Session 4: To C or not to C? Entity Selection in the New Tax Age - Tax reform enacted in 2017 changed the tax treatment of business entities, including a reduction in the corporate rate and a new deduction for partners, and brings new considerations into play when choosing or changing the form of doing business. Listen to a discussion about the operation of the new rules that may influence your selection now, when and why pass-through entities may still be the right choice and how and when multi-entity structures may be useful.
Session 5: Model Company Agreements - Walk through refinements to the model agreements for simple limited liability companies, including modifications related to the recent legislative changes to the Texas Business Organizations Code.
Session 6: Drafting Partnership and LLC Agreements for the New Partnership Audit Rules - 2018 ushers in a paradigm shift in the IRS's approach to partnership audits. Hear these new rules explained at a high level and review sample language to include in partnership and LLC agreements to account for these new rules.
Session 7: "Hello"—Inadvertent Partnerships - Partnerships can arise through the conduct of parties. Explore what makes a relationship a partnership and what to do to avoid partnership characterization.
Session 8: Inadvertent Partnerships Revisited - Hear an update on inadvertent partnerships after the Dallas Court of Appeals decision in Enterprise Products Partners, L.P. v. Energy Transfer Partners, L.P.
Session 9: "Good Bye"—Buy-Outs or Exits - All good (and not so good) things must come to an end. When owners of an LLC or partnership are ready to part ways, what does one want in the Company Agreement/Partnership Agreement in order to facilitate an orderly exit by the departing owners?
Session 10: Effective Engagement Letters and Other Simple Risk-Management Tools - Keeping the client reasonably informed is required under the Texas disciplinary rules of professional conduct, and doing so is good risk management. Examine how effective engagement letters, disengagement letters, and other communications keep the client reasonably informed and engaged, while helping to control the client’s expectations, promoting effective risk management, and reducing the likelihood of legal malpractice claims.
Session 11: Nuts and Bolts Ethics for the Business and Transactional Lawyer - Listen to a practical discussion of current ethics topics related to business and transactional law, including conflicts issues, and attorney migration between firms. more »
Session 1: A Day in the Life of a Car Wreck Defense Lawyer - Discussion about the laundry list of issues that the car wreck defense lawyer can expect to address in a typical day.
Session 2: Case Selection-Rejection and How to Manage Client Expectations - Listen to a discussion about what factors go into deciding to accept or reject a case, how to make a case rejection a win/win, and how to manage your practice in terms of client expectations.
Session 3: Investigation and Insurance - Examine critical aspects of the crash investigation, including the identification of potential parties and the myriad of potentially applicable insurance coverages.
Session 4: Uninsured and Under-Insured Motorist - Learn strategies to present and defend uninsured and underinsured motorist claims.
Session 5: Notice to Potential Defendants and Pre-Suit Demands - Review what to include in your pre-suit demand, as well as how to provide notice to potential defendants and their insurers.
Session 6: Pre-Suit Settlement - Discuss considerations such as IOLTA requirements, liens and subrogation, and the potential net to your client.
Session 7: Subrogation and Liens - Examine the ever-changing rules regarding Medicare, Medicaid, ERISA, workers' comp, hospital liens, state employees, local employees, and disability plans. Focus on safeguards created by a state law which protects first party and portions of third-party recoveries from many insured plans.
Session 8: Medical Records - Who is looking for what and why? Learn to analyze, understand, and use medical records to increase pre‑litigation settlement values.
Session 9: Negotiating with the Insurance Adjuster - Learn how to maximize case value through preparation and presentation of the demand package.
Session 10: The Noble Lawyer and the Ethics of Client Management - Analyze the ethical quandaries of client intake, case selection, and client communications. Learn how to manage healthy and unhealthy client relationships, setting expectations for clients, and withdrawing from bad relationships. more »
Session 1: Filing Suit and Common Issues in Litigation - Explore common concerns when filing suit, including venue, jurisdiction, and statute of limitations.
Session 2: Accident Reconstruction Deconstructed - Technology and resources available today can allow post-accident physical evidence to resolve many fact disputes about how an incident happened, who was at fault, and reveal potential gross negligence facts. Learn what top experts can do for the right case, what the law allows you to do with this information, and what reconstruction resources are available for more modest value cases.
Session 3: Injury Causation in Low Property Damage Cases - Hear from plaintiff and defense attorneys on best practices for assessing injuries in low property damage cases, including a review of the rationale behind these assessments.
Session 4: Case Study: $30K Car Crash to $1 Million Verdict - Examine methods and strategies for maximizing value on routine car crash cases.
Session 5: Telling the Story of Your Case - There are fundamentals of story that apply to almost every aspect of trial. Jurors create narratives, and they are not in the form of “the evidence will show…” Implementing storytelling techniques can help any advocate, in any type of case, present the evidence closer to the form in which jurors comprehend and remember.
Session 6: Developing a Winning Deposition Strategy - Learn the fail-safe tricks to ensure you have a winning strategy at depositions.
Session 7: Interactive Demonstration: Deposition How-To's - Identify problems, ask questions, and discuss the tricks and tips of the day!
Session 8: Overcoming the Problem Witness - Acquire the techniques to use against problem witnesses, including those who feign ignorance, are evasive, and are combative.
Session 9: Beating the Expert - Find out how to take an expert’s deposition—how to avoid being intimidated and how to set realistic, attainable goals when you depose the "expert."
Session 10: Developing Your Trial Cross Through the Adverse Deposition - Discover effective techniques for getting the answers you need from an adverse witness.
Session 11: Witness Preparation - Witnesses win cases—and lose them. Learn how to keep your witness from giving it all up in a deposition and how to use the deposition to help prepare your witness to be a winner at trial.
Session 12: Dealing with Combative and Unscrupulous Lawyers - How to avoid intimidation and manage the disruptive, disreputable, and overly zealous lawyer in an ethical, civil, and professional manner.
Session 13: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in Car Crash Cases - Two trial judges with a combined 25 years of judicial experience discuss what they’ve seen that works and doesn’t work in car crash cases. more »
Session 1: Natural Disasters: Lessons Learned - Gain tips for dealing with the legal and other challenges associated with disasters like Hurricane Harvey, including employee issues, force majeure, business continuity planning, recovery efforts, and maintaining good customer and public relations.
Session 2: Disaster Relief: What a Nonprofit Needs to Know When Disaster Hits Your Community - Hear an overview of the relevant rules on disaster relief and current IRS guidance and the legal and practical challenges for non-profits providing relief and managing fundraising in the wake of a disaster.
Session 3: Continuity of Operations Following Disasters: Confronting Legal Challenges in Energy, Law Enforcement, Environment, Commerce and Beyond -
Session 4: Insurance Litigation Post-Harvey - Review the most hotly contested issues in first party insurance claims and litigation arising out of the recent hurricane, including flood versus wind, special rules for TWIA claims, and the new "natural causes" amendments to the Texas Insurance Code. more »
Session 1: Waters of the United States: The Future Regulation of Potholes and Other Issues - Review the recent action of EPA and the Department of the Army in resetting the effective date of the 2015 Rule from August 2015 to February 2020. Listen to a discussion about the likelihood for changes to the 2015 Rule, and the emerging trend of ground water being considered as regulated under the federal Clean Water Act.
Session 2: Groundwater–Surface Water Interaction: Implications for Groundwater Planning and Management - Groundwater pumping generally results in decreased groundwater storage, induced recharge to the area, and decreased spring flow and stream flow. The nature and timing of these three impacts are dependent on many factors, and require an understanding of local conditions. Explore how groundwater–surface water interaction affects groundwater planning and management.
Session 3: Valuation of Water Rights - Credible fair market valuation of water rights is a major challenge in Texas. Explore a thorough and reliable model for determining the fair market value of water rights not only in Texas, but elsewhere around the globe.
Session 4: Marketing Groundwater Rights - An overview of issues facing landowners and groundwater project developers, including: “grass roots politics”, market conditions, pricing concerns, transport considerations, permitting hurdles, and coordination with local groundwater districts.
Session 5: Marketing Surface Water Rights - In pursuing the purchase of a water right, a buyer has to consider a number of regulatory steps in order to make the purchased water right beneficially useful. Just what are those steps?
Session 6: Indirect Reuse of Water - Examine historically disputed issues regarding indirect reuse and learn some of the existing indirect reuse permits. Listen to a discussion about more recent directions and questions regarding indirect reuse coming from the Brazos River Authority System Operation permit hearing.
Session 7: Direct Potable Reuse - Explore the technical, social, and regulatory issues associated with the implementation of direct potable reuse in Texas, including a discussion of several case studies.
Session 8: Application of Governmental Law Requirement to Public–Private Partnership Projects - What responsibilities and attributes of the government, such as obligations of openness and transparency, does a private business assume when it partners with the government on a project?
Session 9: Legal Issues with Permitting Amenity Ponds - Amenity ponds are often constructed in new subdivisions for aesthetic, recreational, drainage, and irrigation purposes. Depending on the location and source of water for the pond, such as state-owned surface water, groundwater, storm water, or reclaimed water, the permitting requirements can vary greatly. Review the various permitting requirements and the legal hurdles associated with these ponds.
Session 10: There's No Accounting for Water - Review the basics of accounting plans used in water rights permitting and gain insight into recent developments and issues. more »
Session 1: Technology’s Disruption of the Legal Profession - Explore various technologies and emerging platforms that continue to influence the legal industry, including key considerations in implementing these technologies and related ethical concerns.
Session 2: Cyber Ethics: Ensuring Compliance with Evolving Technology - Lawyers today find that keeping client information safe is more challenging when using today’s technology tools. You don’t have to have a degree in computer science to understand how to avoid ethical missteps related to technology. Lawyer-friendly information on cyber ethics is provided.
Session 3: Artificial Intelligence and its Effect on the Legal Industry - AI is getting a lot of attention, creating fears and in many cases unrealistic expectations. Explore the reality of AI, how it practically can impact legal work flows, and how it can be a positive force that enables lawyers to do their jobs faster, cheaper and better for their clients.
Session 4: Data Analytics: The Answer to Your Law Firm's Innovation Effort - Learn how to easily kick-start your firm’s innovation efforts, close the gender pay gap (for you and your clients), and use data to reduce bias, improve inclusion as part of a diversity and inclusion initiative, and simultaneously use proven scientific methods to improve bottom-line profitability!
Session 5: Avoiding Ethical Issues with Lawyers' Use of Social Media - The world of social media presents a multitude of pitfalls for practitioners and judges alike. Hear from pioneers in the field on how to make the most of social media's advantages without running afoul of applicable disciplinary rules. Listen to a discussion about cutting edge issues not yet addressed under Texas law and proposed disciplinary rules currently under consideration by the Texas Supreme Court.
Session 6: 30 Apps in 30 Minutes - A quick survey of useful apps and tech tips for lawyers, trust officers, and caregivers.
Session 7: Law Firm Data Security and the Ethical Duty of Technology Competence - As clients demand attorneys deliver legal services more efficiently by using technology it increases pressure to have technical knowledge and proficiency. Further, the American Bar Association and 28 states have created a model rule for the ethical duty of technology competence. Hear an overview of the significant material risks and impact on a law firm following a breach and the potential consequences from an ethics and disciplinary perspective. more »
Session 1: Governance Literacy - Governance at nonprofit organizations is often not a priority until something goes wrong. Gain practical tips to help board and staff members avoid problems, and review governance topics including fiduciary duties, governing documents, policies, procedures, and the roles of the board, officers, committees, and staff members.
Session 2: Accounting and Finance Basics - This session covers revenue and expense recognition, financial statement analysis, financial ratios, and the calculation and forecasting of firm free cash flow.
Session 3: Advising the Organization: Advanced Issues in Corporate Governance - Balancing the roles and responsibilities of the board of directors, individual board members, and staff can be an interesting exercise in corporate governance. In some cases, the individuals step out of their roles and into governance problems.
Session 4: Joint Venture Governance and Business Opportunity Issues - Joint ventures are an increasingly common vehicle for combining businesses. The continuing nature of a joint venture raises unique issues regarding the governance of the joint venture and its relationship to the other businesses of the joint venture partners. Examine alternatives for joint venture governance and the extent to which the joint ventures are obligated (by law or contract) to offer "business opportunities" to the joint venture or each other. These issues are typically addressed when the joint venture documents are negotiated, but operations under even the best documents can present unforeseen issues, including some that arise as a result of subsequent case law.
Session 5: Fiduciary Duties of Governing Persons of Business Entities - Explore current issues regarding the fiduciary duties of directors and other governing persons of entities organized in Texas and Delaware.
Session 6: Fiduciary Duties of Governing Persons of Business Entities, continued -
Session 7: Taking Cybersecurity Seriously - Nonprofit organizations of all sizes have sensitive information that needs to be protected—and increasingly, organizations need to be ready to respond when (not if) a data breach occurs. In this session, learn about the most recent cyber threats they face, the costs associated with those threats, and what you can do to help protect your organizations in an increasingly insecure landscape.
Session 8: Keeping an Eye on Privacy and Data Protection Risks - Gain practical tips for reducing the data privacy and protection risks faced by nonprofits. more »
Session 1: The Collision Between Real Estate and Elder Law - Elder law and real estate attorneys prepare documents from different points of view and for different purposes. Explore the different perspectives and learn to solve issues that can arise when dealing with these differences.
Session 2: Dealing with Mineral Rights: A Practitioners Guide to Oil and Gas - Learn the basics of oil and gas, including mineral rights, royalties, and executive rights, while dealing with Texas issues and problems in probate, trust, elder care, and other areas.
Session 3: Drafting Wills and Trusts for Efficient Administration - Hear a panel of corporate trustee's discuss how they administer the wills and trusts we draft and what they would like to see in our documents. Learn what to do if a beneficiary is pushing too much.
Session 4: She Updated Her Forms, and You Won’t BELIEVE What Happens Next - The legislature meets, a judge writes an opinion, and — OMG! We have new laws to deal with! Find out the SEVEN things you NEED to add to your forms RIGHT NOW!
Session 5: 10 Pesky Probate Problems - Hear 10 tips for new (and not so new) practitioners addressing various problems which arise during the probate process, such as dealing with collection agencies, taking control of estate property from those without authority, properly allocating rights and liabilities associated with jointly owned property, dealing with the IRS, and other “pesky” problems.
Session 6: Probate Procedures & Alternatives - A discussion of whom you represent, fee considerations, options and alternatives to probating a will, what to consider when there is no will, what to look for when reviewing a will, the mechanics of getting to the probate hearing, default and lost will issues, and issues in administering a simple estate. Comprehensive forms will also be provided.
Session 7: Deed Drafting in Estate Planning and Probate Contexts - Using the correct deed for a client is essential to prevent future problems. Distinguish the various deeds and which deed is correct in the estate planning or probate context.
Session 8: Individual Fiduciaries Gone Wild - Executors, trustees, and other fiduciaries own the highest duties known to law and are held to strict standards of conduct. Explore the inherent risks of serving as an executor or trustee and hear suggestions for fiduciary risk management, defending breach of fiduciary duty claims, and related causes of action. Hear tips for advising clients on the appointment fiduciaries in an attempt to avoid future fiduciary litigation. more »
Session 1: Investigating Sensitive Employment Complaints - The investigation of an employee's complaint may be critical to an employer's only means of avoiding liability. The investigator may be a witness, and the notes may be evidence. Learn how to investigate and document the process.
Session 2: The TRO Process Explained - The temporary injunction hearing is the key moment in non-compete enforcement. Get practical tips on what you need to establish, and specifically what constitutes imminent irreparable harm.
Session 3: Fight at the TI Corral - The temporary injunction (TI) fight is an essential step in non-compete litigation, but it comes early in the process and litigants can get caught unprepared! Many lawyers express that a case may be won or lost at this early stage. How does this hearing differ from the TRO hearing? What should litigants do to prepare for success at this critical hearing? What are the anticipated issues and arguments? Learn how to avoid the traps and set yourself up for an effective litigation.
Session 4: Trade Secrets: Texas Law and the New Federal Legislation - An in-depth look at the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act and new federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, and what they mean for your business.
Session 5: Taking Depositions in Business Cases - Strategies for deposition-taking in business cases, including who to depose first, deposing corporate executives, and how to make sure you have the testimony you need in a complex business case.
Session 6: Taking the Deposition of a Corporate Representative - Review of the rules and a discussion about practical ways to maximize testimony from a corporate representative.
Session 7: Nuts and Bolts When Deposing on Behalf of the Plaintiff - When representing the Plaintiff: essential steps for a successful deposition of defendant’s expert, a witness or the defendant.
Session 8: Beating the Expert - Find out how to take an expert’s deposition—how to avoid being intimidated and how to set realistic, attainable goals when you depose the "expert."
Session 9: Developing Your Trial Cross Through the Adverse Deposition - Discover effective techniques for getting the answers you need from an adverse witness.
Session 10: Witness Preparation - Witnesses win cases—and lose them. Learn how to keep your witness from giving it all up in a deposition and how to use the deposition to help prepare your witness to be a winner at trial.
Session 11: What's New in Seeking, Getting, and Using Discovery - Learn what you need to know about keeping up with advances in electronic discovery, social media, and changes to the state and federal rules.
Session 12: Communication with Adverse Parties - How can communicating with adverse parties minimize or maximize your effectiveness as an advocate, affect client service, and impact staff morale? It is not uncommon for the lofty ideals of legal professionalism to fade alongside the more instinctive goal of winning for our clients by using words or actions to crush our opponents. But using words to unnecessarily embarrass or demean can change how others perceive you, affect the willingness of your opponent to cooperate, and most importantly, may violate the rules of professionalism. Review the rules that speak to how we communicate with adverse parties, and the practical consequences of ignoring those rules.
Session 13: Bad Lawyering Caught on Tape - An entertaining and educational review of some of the best deposition misconduct tapes found online. As you watch video clips documenting attorneys who mistreat others, discredit themselves and mock their licenses, explore better ways to maintain decorum and ethical conduct. Armed with the Texas Disciplinary Rules and Lawyer's Creed, sort through what happened, what it means and how you can be different.
Session 14: Lawyer Disqualification: Recent Developments & Practical Tips - Motions to disqualify counsel continue to proliferate. Consequences can be severe for lawyers and clients. The client can lose counsel of choice, and the lawyer can lose the client and potentially face liability claims and disciplinary problems. Review recent disqualification decisions and discuss practical tips for litigating disqualification motions. more »
Session 1: Life and the Law: Ethical Issues Facing the Young Lawyer - Explore the potholes and sharp curves that await the beginning trial lawyer on the road to a successful litigation practice, through the characters and plot of a recently published novel about a young personal injury lawyer practicing in Houston.
Session 2: Attorneys in the Hot Seat: Problems and Solutions - Explore selected recurring problem areas for lawyers, consider how the ethics rules may apply, and hear suggestions for real estate lawyers.
Session 3: Nuts and Bolts Ethics for the Business and Transactional Lawyer - Listen to a practical discussion of current ethics topics related to business and transactional law, including conflicts issues, and attorney migration between firms.
Session 4: Technology and Ethics - Hear an overview of lawyers’ ethical obligations—and tips on avoiding potential ethical pitfalls—with respect to the technology we all use.
Session 5: Taking Care of Ourselves: Lessons in Work–Life Balance and Self-Care - In a high-stress profession, everyone is vulnerable to destructive habits harmful to ourselves and our clients. Hear a candid discussion about the reality of risk to the profession and anecdotal tips for changing the statistics. more »