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Lawyer Ethics and Credit Cards (Live Replay from July 18, 2023)

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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


  • Thomas E. Spahn

    Thomas E. Spahn is a partner in the McLean, Virginia office of McGuireWoods, LLP, where he has a broad complex commercial, business and securities litigation practice. He also has a substantial practice advising businesses on properly creating and preserving the attorney-client privilege and work product protections. For more than 20 years he has lectured extensively on legal ethics and professionalism and has written "The Attorney-Client Privilege and the Work Product Doctrine: A Practitioner's Guide," a 750 page treatise published by the Virginia Law Foundation. Mr. Spahn has served as member of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility and as a member of the Virginia State Bar's Legal Ethics Committee. He received his B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University and his J.D. from Yale Law School

    Click here for more information about Thomas.

January 5, 2024
Fri 1:00 PM EST

Duration 1H 0M

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