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Use of credit cards by law firms and lawyers is commonplace. Law firms may accept credit cards as means of payment for fees and expenses. This concession to the larger reality of the economy, however, raises many ethical issues.
- Can lawyers pass on credit card processing fees (which can be substantial) to clients?
- What happens if a client's credit card company does a chargeback of fees?
- How does a lawyer maintain confidentiality when he or she has a dispute with a credit card company, or the client has a dispute with the credit card company?
These and many issues arise when lawyers accept credit cards from clients.
This program provides a guide to ethical issues when credit cards are accepted and used in law practice.
- Passing on credit card processing fees to clients
- Truth-in-Lending issues and tax penalties
- Ethical issues when credit card companies chargeback funds paid to a lawyer or from a trust account
- Confidentiality when a client has a dispute with his or her credit card company
- Use of credit cards to fund a retainer and related trust fund accounting issues
- Creditor claims against trust fund accounts
- Leftover client funds and proper trust fund accounting