Attention:

Maintaining Lawyer Wellness in the Face of COVID-19 and a Troubled Economy


Level: Advanced
Runtime: 60 minutes
Recorded Date: May 06, 2020
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Agenda

  • Where we are today
  • Health Impacts of COVID-19
  • The Economic Worries
  • Helping yourself and others in the pursuit of wellness
  • Q & A
Runtime: 1 hour,
Recorded: May 6, 2020

Description

No one dreamt of a simultaneous pandemic and a depressed economy. In a matter of weeks, the legal world was upended as law firms sent their lawyers home to work remotely and scrambled to find new solutions to practice law in “the new normal.” As has been said many times, “to be a good lawyer, you have to be a healthy lawyer.” COVID-19 and the troubled economy have created enormous pressure on lawyers and law firms.

The effects of “the new normal” vary from lawyer to lawyer, but some report increased alcohol usage, sleeping less, feeling anxious/stressed all the time, having headaches, gaining weight as they stay at home, obsessively watching the news or being distracted by everything at home to the point where they can’t focus on their law practice, worrying over whether they will have enough money to retire - or ever being able to retire, being frightened of contracting COVID-19, feeling overwhelmed by trying to learn new technologies to adapt to the current crisis, feeling lonely or depressed, taking tranquilizers/depression medication/sleeping pills and the list goes on.

For many, the most pressing worry is that they will not be able to save their law practice. There is no magic cure to restore lawyers to wellness, but there are resources available to help lawyers navigate their way through challenging times. Lawyers have been sharing coping methods with one another and our presenters have gathered them together to help lawyers understand that they are not alone, that there are self-help measures they can use to help them through troubled times, as well as lawyer assistance programs which can provide confidential help. To maintain competence, lawyers must.

This program was recorded on May 6th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association

Panelists

Sharon Nelson

President
Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Sharon D. Nelson, Esq., is the President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc., a digital forensics, managed IT service provider and managed cybersecurity firm in Fairfax, Virginia. Ms. Nelson graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and has been in private practice ever since, now concentrating exclusively in electronic evidence law. Ms. Nelson was the President of the Virginia State Bar June 2013-June 2014, and is a Past President of the Fairfax Law Foundation, and a Past President of the Fairfax Bar Association.

She became Chair of the American Bar Association Law Practice Divisions Professional Development Board in August 2015 and served as the former Chair of its Publishing Board. She served three years on the ABA’s Cybersecurity Legal Task Force and has served on the ABA’s Standing Committee on Technology and Information Systems since 2012. From 2012-2014, she served in the ABA’s House of Delegates. She was inducted into the College of Law Practice Management in 2014.

She is also a graduate of Leadership Fairfax, a past chair of the American Bar Association’s TECHSHOW, the Chair of VSB TECHSHOW 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, and Co-Chair 2019, and served for many years on the Virginia State Bar Governing Council and on its Executive Committee, on its Standing Committee on Budget and Finance, and was the former Chair of the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee. She was Chair of the Virginia State Bar’s Future of Law Practice Committee and its Better Annual Meeting Committee (2016-2019). She served on the Virginia State Bar’s President’s Committee on Lawyer Wellness (2018-2019). She is a member of the Virginia Women’s Attorneys Association, the Virginia Bar Association, the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Virginia Trial Lawyers’ Association.

She is a co-author of The 2008-2020 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guides (American Bar Association, 2008-2020), Locked Down: Practical Information Security for Lawyers (American Bar Association, 2016), Encryption Made Simple for Lawyers (American Bar Association, 2015), Locked Down: Information Security for Lawyers (American Bar Association, 2012), The Electronic Evidence and Discovery Handbook: Forms, Checklists and Guidelines (American Bar Association, 2006) and Information Security for Lawyers and Law Firms (American Bar Association, 2006), as well as How Good Lawyers Survive Bad Times (ABA, 2009).

Ms. Nelson is the author of the noted cybersecurity and electronic evidence blog, Ride the Lightning and is a co-host of two Legal Talk Network podcast series called “The Digital Edge: Lawyers and Technology” and “Digital Detectives.”

John W. Simek

Vice President
Sensei Enterprises, Inc.

Mr. Simek is the Vice President of Sensei Enterprises, Inc., a managed IT service provider, digital forensics and cybersecurity firm located in Fairfax, VA. Mr. Simek has a national reputation as a digital forensics technologist and has testified as an expert witness throughout the United States.

He holds a degree in engineering from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and an MBA in finance from Saint Joseph’s University.

Mr. Simek holds the prestigious Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and EnCase Certified Examiner (EnCE) certifications. He is also a Certified Handheld Examiner, Certified Novell Engineer, Microsoft Certified Professional Internet, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, NT Certified Independent Professional, and a Certified Internetwork Professional. Mr. Simek is a 2016 Fastcase 50 award recipient and a Fellow (class of 2016) of the College of Law Practice Management. He is also a member of the High Tech Crime Network as well as the American Bar Association and the Fairfax Bar Association.

He currently provides information technology support to hundreds of Washington DC area law firms, legal entities and corporations. He is a co-host of the Legal Talk Network podcast “Digital Detectives” and a co-author of Locked Down: Practical Information for Lawyers 2nd Edition (American Bar Association, 2016), Encryption Made Simple for Lawyers (American Bar Association, 2015), Locked Down: Information Security for Lawyers (American Bar Association, 2012), The Electronic Evidence and Discovery Handbook: Forms, Checklists and Guidelines (American Bar Association, 2006), Information Security for Lawyers and Law Firms (American Bar Association, 2006), The 2008-2018 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guides (American Bar Association, 2008-2018) and a contributing author of eDiscovery, 3rd Edition (Pennsylvania Bar Institute, 2014). He is a frequent author and speaker on information security, legal technology and electronic evidence throughout the country.

Lucian T. Pera

Partner
Adams & Reese, LLP

Lucian T. Pera focuses his practice on commercial litigation, media law, and legal ethics work. His civil litigation practice has ranged widely and includes a variety of commercial, personal injury and intellectual property litigation, as well as numerous state and federal appeals. Lucian has represented many media outlets in matters ranging from claims for defamation or invasion of privacy to access to courtrooms, public records and meetings of government bodies.

His extensive bar association work in the field of legal ethics and professional responsibility has resulted in him being elected, both locally in Tennessee and nationally, to bar association leadership positions. This work also makes him a go-to lawyer nationally in the field of legal ethics and professional responsibility. He advises attorneys, law firms, their clients, and businesses who deal with lawyers about all aspects of the law. Recent assignments have included defense of lawyers in disciplinary investigations and proceedings, counseling clients with disciplinary complaints and other claims against lawyers, advising law firms about loss prevention and claims, defending and prosecuting motions to disqualify lawyers or for sanctions, and advising innovative start-ups in the legal business.

Lucian regularly provides expert witness testimony in matters concerning legal ethics, professional responsibility and the standard of care for lawyers and law firms.

Amid rapid changes in the business of law, Lucian also counsels law firms and other entities developing new business models for the delivery of legal services. He also advises individuals and organizations seeking to do business with lawyers about how they may do so legally and ethically.

Lucian also writes and speaks frequently, both nationally and in Tennessee, on legal ethics and professional responsibility and media law. In addition, he routinely conducts presentations and seminars for national audiences.


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