So It's Time: Responsible Planning for Closing the Law Office

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 64 minutes
Recorded Date: July 11, 2018
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  • Unexpected Closure of the Office
  • Planning for Death & Disability
  • What Michigan is Doing without a Mandatory Inventory Attorney Rule
  • So You Want/Need to Close your Practice
Runtime: 1 hour and 4 minutes
Recorded: July 11, 2018


Lawyers with clients other than their employers who don't have a succession plan in the event of death or incapacity leave their client matters and firms in jeopardy. Learn best practices for preparing to close or transition your practice to another lawyer, designating an inventory lawyer to take over client files in the event of death or disability, and different types of inventory lawyer programs.

Ted Waggoner, Chair of the Special Committee on the Indiana Attorney Surrogate Rule, will discuss the importance of selecting an inventory lawyer and his experience persuading the Indiana State Bar to adopt the Attorney Surrogate Rule.

Ed Pugh, Jr., former Chairperson of the Senior Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Michigan will explore why some lawyers may object to a mandatory surrogate rule, explaining his two failed attempts at selling the Indiana surrogate rule to the State Bar of Michigan.

This program was recorded on July 11th, 2018.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Edgar W. Pugh, Jr.

Pugh Moak, P.C.

Mr. Pugh is an attorney with over 40 years experience in estate planning, probate, and corporate matters. He was recently once again named as one of the "Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit" for 2014 by dbusiness magazine as well as a "Michigan Super Lawyer". Mr. Pugh has been a member of the Probate, Estate, and Trust Committee of the Oakland County Bar Association for more than 35 years and served as Chairman in 1983 and 1984. He has received the highest attorney rating from Martindale-Hubbell, a national attorney rating service for over 20 years. Mr. Pugh is admitted to practice before all of the Courts of the State of Michigan, the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Pugh served the 110 year old Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity in virtually all positions prior to being Elected International Chancellor of the fraternity for 1999 through 2001. Before entering private practice he worked in the Trust Department for a major regional bank.

As a representative of the Oakland County Bar Association, Mr. Pugh has served as a frequent speaker on estate planning and has given seminars on estate planning and probate avoidance to attorneys for the Oakland County Bar Association.

Mr. Pugh served as a Chairperson of the Senior Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Michigan and in 2010-2011 served as the initial Chairperson of the 15,000 member Master Lawyers section of the State Bar in 2011-2012.

In his community Mr. Pugh served as a member of the Board of Directory of New Horizons Rehabilitation Centers where he was chairman of the Personnel committee , The Birmingham Family YMCA and The Long Range Planning Committee for Lighthouse of Oakland County. He also served as a Board Member and President of the Birmingham Optimist Club. Mr. Pugh served on several committees for Beverly Hills Michigan where he resides. He also was elected to the Village Council of Beverly Hills and as Village President.

Currently Mr. Pugh is Vice President of BASCC, the Birmingham Area Senior Coordinating Council and Center where he has served as a Board Member for several years.

Joan M. Burda

Lawyer & Author
Burda Law

Joan M. Burda practices law in Lakewood, Ohio. A significant part of her practice involves working with LGBT individuals and couples.

She is the author of the award-winning book, Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples, Third Edition (ABA 2015) as well as Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Clients: A Lawyer’s Guide (ABA 2008) and An Overview of Federal Consumer Law (ABA 1998) -- out of print but a real page turner.

Joan writes about LGBT legal issues, estate planning and other topics for various online and print publications. She is a featured speaker on LGBT legal issues at national and international conferences and workshops. She is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. In her spare time, she reviews books for the New York Journal of Books. Joan is a member of the American Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, the National Lesbian and Gay Bar Association and the American Society of Journalists and Authors.

Joan graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree, which means she took what she wanted and skipped all the boring classes. She received her law degree from Pepperdine University School of Law…a school located on a bluff overlooking Malibu--not at all conducive to studying so it’s a good thing the first two years were in a converted warehouse in Anaheim.

Ted Waggoner

Managing Partner
Peterson Waggoner & Perkins LLP

Ted Waggoner is the managing partner of Peterson Waggoner & Perkins, LLP of Rochester IN. He has held a variety of bar related positions with the Indiana State Bar Association, and was the 2014-15 Counsel to the President of the Bar. He serves as Chair of the Attorney Surrogate Committee for the State Bar, and the committee wrote Indiana's Best Practices and Forms guidebook to implement the Rule.

He is a board member of the Christian Theological Seminary, where he serves as Vice Chair for 2018-20.

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