eCourses are individual online courses from renowned presenters at our live conferences. Learn via audio or video, receive the supporting materials, and fulfill MCLE requirements at your convenience with the best content available!
These courses are CLE accredited in Texas and California, with some accredited in Oklahoma.
If you need credit for an eCourse in other states please read through the disclaimerbefore purchasing an eCourse to make sure you will be able to self-report your MCLE credit after completion of the eCourse
Session 1: Advancing the Common Good in the Texas Legislative Process - Texas nonprofits of all sizes and varieties have become more active in the public forum and in the legislative process to advance their missions and the interests of their constituents. How effective are these activities and how does the “nonprofit sector” rank among the other special interest groups that occupy the policy and political landscape? Do charities, state associations and nonprofit activist groups have a special role—a special voice—in the legislative process different from other interest groups? Do “dark money” organizations reflect negatively on other nonprofit organizations? Are nonprofit entities that perform government functions prepared for the related accountability and transparency in their operations? Learn about these questions in general terms with respect to the realities of the legislative process, with specific references to legislation expected in the 2019 session as well as comments on controversies and legislative challenges to the nonprofit sector in past sessions.
Session 2: Resilience: How to Survive and Thrive in a High Stress Practice - Why do some people handle stress and rebound from failure better than others? Learn about the skills and practices developed by the US Army to combat depression, fight off PTSD, and handle high stress engagements and jobs, … like being a lawyer.
Session 3: Effective Client Communication Across Generational and Other Divides - Effective communication is a key predictor of career and professional success for in-house lawyers. As the corporate world becomes more diverse, client communication becomes even more challenging. Learn how to effectively communicate in this fast changing corporate environment. more »
Learn about the tax-advantaged Texas Achieving a Better Life Experience (Texas ABLE) Program—a savings program created just for Texans with disabilities. This session covers the basics of Texas ABLE and highlights how an ABLE account can be used in conjunction with a Special Needs Trust (SNT) to help Texans with disabilities save and plan for the future and keep certain public benefits. more »
A practical guide to some of the issues involved in structuring endowment gifts and administering institutional endowments. Gain insight on endowment gift agreements, endowment spending policies, and the documentation of endowment investment and spending decisions. more »
Review the key components of a grant agreement, including provisions unique to private foundations, considerations for advocacy organizations, and how to structure grants to fiscal sponsors, non-charitable organizations, and individuals. Expect practical advice from the perspective of both the grantor and the grantee, a lively discussion, and sample language. more »
Opportunities for exempt organizations to work with and through market-oriented enterprises and interventions to pursue their charitable purposes are increasing. Doing so involves a variety of factors and attention to the pros and cons of different approaches. Strategically balancing charitability, private benefit, tax considerations, structures and forms, licensing, data, decision-making, assessments, and more are among the inter-related threads that run through these approaches. Instead of hanging loosely, these threads together create a tapestry of strategic decisions and opportunities. This master class focuses on how these considerations fit together. more »
What is “web presence” and why does it matter? Learn about what web presence is and isn’t, how nonprofits are using web presence to advance their missions, and how to assess your organization’s risks in this area. more »
Review current developments in the federal tax law concerning tax-exempt organizations, including the status of Treasury and IRS guidance regarding applicable provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, and recently issued proposed regulations, IRS rulings, and court opinions. Learn about the Exempt Organizations Division’s FY 2020 program letter and current Priority Guidance Plan, application of the commerciality doctrine, and recent law developments concerning qualification for tax exemption, the private inurement and private benefit doctrine, legislative and political campaign activity rules, governance, public charity status, supporting organizations, private foundations, donor-advised funds, unrelated business, fundraising regulations, charitable giving, and litigation. more »
Examine issues related to data privacy and security, including GDPR. Learn about the latest cybersecurity threats and trends impacting nonprofits, and actions that can be taken today in furtherance of compliance and in support of the overall data privacy and security mission. more »
The IRS and Treasury have issued preliminary guidance on several provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 affecting exempt organizations, but both the legislation and the guidance pose many interpretive and operational challenges. Explore how, two years after the Act’s passage, organizations are responding to the preliminary guidance from the IRS and Treasury, and how implementation of the legislation may continue to progress in the coming year. Plus, hear a discussion on other key trends and legislative developments affecting tax-exempt organizations. more »
In an increasingly complex world, charities are frequently called upon to address newer and more pressing challenges. Explore the contours and frontiers of charitability as applied to food, energy, the environment, and education—all areas where the boundaries of charitability can blur—and discuss how charities can navigate the legal landscape surrounding these topics. more »
Session 1: Estate Planning 101 - A very practice oriented nuts & bolts overview / how-to / to-do for basic estate planning, from the initial contact, planning conference & terms of engagement, to the signing ceremony, exit letter & beyond, with forms, options and insights for what is and is not appropriate depending on the circumstances.
Session 2: 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 3: 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 4: 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 5: Real Estate Owned with Others - An overview of the newly passed Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA) and how it can impact the severance of jointly owned property.
Session 6: 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 7: 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 8: 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 9: 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: Depositions in Business Litigation - Learn strategies for securing the testimony you need in complex business cases.
Session 3: Taking the Deposition of a Corporate Representative - Explore using the organization representative deposition, one of the more effective discovery tools to use when seeking discovery from an organization. Learn the ins and outs of using FRCP 30b(6) and TRCP 199.2(b) to depose the organization (a party or non-party) through the organization-selected representative(s) on topics you delineate relevant to the claims and defenses in the lawsuit.
Session 4: 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 5: 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 6: Developing Your Trial Cross Through the Adverse Deposition - Learn to take admission-seeking depositions of adverse witnesses so that they are effectively limited in their testimony at trial.
Session 7: Preparing Your Witness for Deposition - 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 8: Corroborating Evidence: It’s Not Just a Swearing Match - Workplace disputes dismissed as “he-said, she-said” very often are in reality “he-said, she-said” plus some other evidence says. What is corroborating evidence to courts and juries in workplace discrimination and harassment cases?
Session 9: Anti-SLAPP for Everyone! - More and more states are adopting Anti-SLAPP legislation, and the broad approach taken by Texas under the TCPA suggests that even a tangential relationship between the communication and a matter of public concern is sufficient. So what is an attorney to do? Review the elements and limits of Anti-SLAPP litigation, and make sure you are prepared the next time a slap is on the horizon.
Session 10: 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 11: Class Action Employment Litigation: What's Left and What's New - Dukes, Epic Systems, and many other cases in the past decade have made class litigation extremely difficult in employment cases. Nonetheless, government agencies and private litigants are still filing a variety of class action discrimination cases and the prevalence of wage‑hour collective actions remain strong. Discuss the status of class and collective action employment litigation with a focus on recent developments impacting both the plaintiffs’ and defense bars.
Session 12: Settlement Documents: Lessons to Learn - Optimizing separation agreement and settlement language to protect client assets, compliance with restrictions on confidentiality provisions, and avoiding hidden “gotcha” mistakes.
Session 13: Ethics for Employment Lawyers: 2019 - Get updated on 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: The Forms 990: 990, 990-EZ, 990-N, 990-PF & 990-T - Learn how to determine which form is required to be filed based on your organization's structure and size, and discuss the differences and similarities between the forms to understand the requirements for filing.
Session 2: Fiduciary Duties and Conflicts of Interest - An overview of the fiduciary duties imposed on directors of nonprofit corporations and trustees of charitable trusts under state law and the conflict of interest rules under state law and U.S. federal tax law.
Session 3: Perspectives from Former Regulators on Charitable Oversight - Gain insight into expectations of the IRS and State Office of the Attorney General in the context of operations and management, board duties, and compliance review. Plus, hear tips on communicating positively and effectively on behalf of nonprofit organizations.
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: Funding and Conducting Advocacy: Flashpoints for Private Foundations - Hear the key legal considerations for private foundations that are involved in conducting or funding advocacy. These include the IRS lobbying rules, other federal and state lobbying rules, personal versus professional activities of staff, and special considerations around elections.
Session 8: UBTI Therapy Session: Practical Approaches to Tax Reform and UBTI Compliance - UBIT compliance has become much more challenging post-tax reform. Focus on practical methods of addressing those challenges, including obtaining expenses and gathering other data associated with employee parking, separating UBTI into silos, and finding offsets to mitigate additional UBIT.
Session 9: 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: 2019 Case Law Update - A survey of recent Texas cases addressing significant issues (fiduciary duties, piercing the entity veil, and more) in the context of LLCs and partnerships (including limited partnerships and LLPs).
Session 2: Federal Tax Update - Review legislative, judicial and IRS guidance over the past year as it impacts partnerships and LLCs with a focus on choice of entity, Section 199A deduction, examination provisions, new loss limitation rules and Section 1061 holding period requirements.
Session 3: 2019 Secretary of State Update - Ever had a document rejected by the Secretary of State? Hear filing tips, do’s and don’ts and learn about other administrative issues that will make you an expert on filing with 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: First Contact, Case Evaluation, and Client Expectations - Learn how to assess who has a claim, potential conflicts, how to evaluate the potential liability, damages, and costs of the case, and how to manage your client's expectations about their case.
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 Underinsured Motorist Claims: The Ultimate Traffic Jam - A review of recent cases impacting UM/UIM cases and the strategies for prosecuting and defending uninsured and underinsured motorist claims.
Session 5: 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 6: Medical Issues - Survey issues relating to medical treatment, including the timing of treatment, prognosis, and future treatment needs.
Session 7: 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 8: Pre-Suit Settlement - Discuss considerations such as IOLTA requirements, liens and subrogation, and the potential net to your client.
Session 9: Subrogation and Liens - Examine the ever-changing rules regarding Medicare, Medicaid, ERISA, workers' comp, hospital liens, state employees, local employees, and disability plans. Explore safeguards created by a state law which protects first party and portions of third-party recoveries from many insured plans.
Session 10: Moving the Insurance Adjuster Needle - Hear tips for plaintiff and defense counsel to bring the insurance adjuster to a realistic evaluation of the case, for the benefit of not just the plaintiff and counsel, but also the defendant insured and counsel.
Session 11: 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: View from the Bench: Trial Basics - Hear observations and guidance from a trial judge.
Session 3: 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 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: Trying the Car Wreck Case from the Defense Perspective - A defense lawyer's opinion about why cases are lost.
Session 7: Developing a Winning Deposition Strategy - Hear a discussion about the fail-safe tricks to ensure you have a winning strategy at depositions.
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: Preparing Your Witness for Deposition - 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: 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: 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 3: Ethical Issues Presented by Changing Technology - Increasingly technology is integrated into the practice of law. Examine lawyers' current ethical responsibility in relation to the use of technology and how such responsibility may change as technological advances, like artificial intelligence, become more commonplace in the practice of law.
Session 4: Ethics of Social Media - The world of social media has engulfed us all. Not only has it transformed our society, but it has worked its way into every legal field as well. Discover the ethical issues facing you as attorneys—and that of your clients—in this social media age.
Session 5: Resilience: How to Survive and Thrive in a High Stress Practice - Why do some people handle stress and rebound from failure better than others? We will discuss the skills and practices developed by the US Army to combat depression, fight off PTSD, and handle high stress engagements and jobs, … like being a lawyer.
Session 6: Lawyer Wellness - Get evidence-based strategies to help navigate the stress of our extremely demanding profession. Learn how small changes in our daily approach to the practice of law can greatly improve work-life balance. more »
Session 1: Collaborations – A Broader View - As the philanthropic and charitable sector continues to explore how to leverage resources and achieve greater impact, collaboration continues to be an important tool. Many funders have deep experience with funder collaboratives, while others are experimenting with a broader menu of collaboration options. Identify a variety of collaboration models and introduce issues to consider.
Session 2: UBTI Therapy Session: Practical Approaches to Tax Reform and UBTI Compliance - UBIT compliance has become much more challenging post-tax reform. Focus on practical methods of addressing those challenges, including obtaining expenses and gathering other data associated with employee parking, separating UBTI into silos, and finding offsets to mitigate additional UBIT. more »