Ethics

Attorney Trust Accounts: Pitfalls to Avoid

A Discussion of the requirements of a CTA client trust account in order to comply with the obligations and to avoid California State Bar discipline.

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Jonathan I. Arons
Attorney at Law
San Francisco, California

Jonathan I. Arons is an attorney in San Francisco, California. He is the owner of a two-attorney practice with a emphasis in professional responsibility/legal ethics. For more than 30 years he has advised lawyers on ethics matters, defense of disciplinary charges, and issues concerning admission or reinstatement to the State Bar of California. Mr. Arons also advises law firms and attorneys who want to improve office systems for protecting against rule violations, or who need advice about a particular ethical or professional conduct problem. He assists parties nationwide as an expert in lawsuits involving questions of legal ethics and professional misconduct and has been qualified in numerous courts in California as an expert witness including the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California.

Mr. Arons has taught CLE courses on numerous topics, including on the California State Bar Court disciplinary process, and can advise attorneys on ethics and license protection matters ranging from trust account management to the professional implications of a DUI conviction or a chemical dependency problem. He formerly was the Supervising Attorney for the Ethics Hotline program at the State Bar of California

He received a B.A. degree from Ohio State University and a J.D. degree from San Francisco Law School. Mr. Arons is admitted to the practice of law in California, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit. He is a member of the State Bar of California, Bar Association of San Francisco (Past Chair, Legal Ethics Committee), the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers, and the Association of Disciplinary Defense Counsel. Mr. Arons received the highest rating of Martindale-Hubbell in legal liability and ethical standards.

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Michael J. Fish
Merrill, Arnone & Jones, LLP
Santa Rosa, California

Mr. Fish has earned an outstanding reputation as an attorney experienced in his litigation and transactional practice. He has counseled clients on matters as diverse as family law (divorce, child custody & support); real estate development; business entity formation, operation and termination; acquisitions and sales of businesses; attorney-client fee disputes; FINRA arbitrations and estate planning. He has served as a regular and successful settlement conference Judge Pro Tem in both family law and civil matters for over 20 years. In addition, he presides over numerous arbitrations and has trained arbitrators in almost every county in the state.

Mr. Fish is the current chairperson of the Sonoma County Bar Association Fee Arbitration Committee and the past chairperson of the Marin County Bar Association Client Relations Committee. He has served as Chair of the State Bar of California Mandatory Fee Arbitration Committee and continues to serve on that committee. He currently serves on the Sonoma County Bar Association Family Law Rules Committee and the Sonoma County Bar Association Family Law Education Committee. He is a former Trustee of the UC Hastings 1066 Foundation and is currently a Master with the Edward J. McFetridge American Inn of Court.

Mr. Fish has been involved in Rotary for over 25 years, serving in many capacities, including, but not limited to, Rotary Club President, District Governor and District Director for the Rotary Foundation Permanent Fund. He is also is a Past Chairman of the Board and a current Director of Rotaplast International, Inc., a program providing free cleft palate and cleft lip surgeries to indigent children and has led teams to Argentina, Venezuela and Egypt. Rotaplast has operated on over 15,000 children since the program’s inception.

Mr. Fish is a sought after speaker on numerous legal and humanitarian-related topics.
Michael practices in the firm’s Santa Rosa office as well as the firm’s new branch office on Redwood Boulevard in Novato.

Mr. Fish is a graduate of University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco and has been practicing in Marin and Sonoma Counties for over 35 years.

Date: Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Time: Check-In: 11:45 am; Presentation: 12:00—1:00 pm

Presenter(s):
Jonathan I. Arons, Attorney at Law
Michael J. Fish, Merrill, Arnone & Jones, LLP

Place: SCBA Office, 111 Santa Rosa Ave., Ste. 222, Santa Rosa, CA 95404.
Parking for this seminar is ONLY available in the Public Parking Garage at 555 First Street at rate of $.75 per hour. Please do not park in the parking lot at 111 Santa Rosa Avenue

Registration Fee: $60–SCBA Members; $75–Public; Free for SCBA Barristers Club members in their 1st 5 years of practice (Barristers must register by phone or fax to receive pricing)

MCLE: 1.0 Unit Participatory Credit in Legal Ethics

Student: $20 (The student discount is now available online for SCBA Student Members. Students who are not members of SCBA may utilize the student discount by downloading the registration form and submitting it with proof of current enrollment to the SCBA Offices. For more information on becoming a member of SCBA, please contact Susan Demers at (707) 542-1190 ext. 18.)

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