Protecting Your Clients if the Unthinkable Happens
At the Columbus Bar Association, we know that no attorney likes to think about events that might abruptly change our lives and the lives of our families and clients. Nevertheless, accidents, illnesses, and untimely deaths occur. Those events often necessitate that an attorney must abruptly stop practicing law.
Take a moment and look around. You have clients who depend upon you. You have clients with court dates tomorrow. You have clients with unfinished cases and documents. If the unthinkable happens, where will your clients turn? Who will help them navigate the path to finding new counsel, who will ask the court for a continuance on behalf of the client or assist the client in retrieving a file?
The Columbus Bar's Advance Succession Registry Can Help
Although the need to have a succession plan is discussed in Comment  to Ohio Prof. Cond. Rule 1.3, there is no law or rule in effect in Ohio that requires an attorney to participate in a program like our Advance Succession Registry (the Registry). Nevertheless, all attorneys, whether a member of a law firm or a solo practitioner, have an ethical obligation to consider the immediate impact that such an unfortunate event will have upon their clients. Every attorney should consider putting a plan in place to protect those clients. Our Registry can be that plan.
The Registry allows you, as the Registering Attorney, to have control over what steps are taken immediately after events such as your unforeseen death, disability, disbarment, or other incapacity. Through the Registry, you can designate another Ohio-licensed Attorney, the Designated Attorney, to provide the immediate assistance that your clients will need if you are no longer there to help.
Being a Designated Attorney is a short-term opportunity to give back to our profession. A Designated Attorney has been given the chance to make an immediate and positive difference in the lives of clients and family members under the most unfortunate circumstances.
Ohio’s attorneys are encouraged to put this stopgap plan in place today. Do not wait another minute to be the attorney who rests easy knowing that you have designated another attorney as the person that your clients can turn to in their time of need.
Click here for complete details about the Columbus Bar Association's Advance Succession Registry, including benefits and limitations of the program, and details on how you can get started.