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Webinar: Ethics Issues in Serving Clients with Diminished Capacity

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May 23, 2023 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm

1 Hour MCLE; 1 Legal Ethics

Lawyers may find themselves representing a client who appears to have diminished capacity, including in pro bono or legal service contexts. Representing clients with diminished capacity presents unique issues whether their condition is due to mental illness, substance abuse, dementia or other capacity issues. This program will discuss the ethical issues that can arise in such situations and how the California rules apply, including confidentiality, communications, and conflicts of interest.  The experienced panelists will suggest approaches and strategies lawyers may use in such circumstances, and explore the limits imposed by the California rules.

Non-Member Price – $75.00
Member Price – $55.00

Merri Baldwin is a shareholder at Rogers Joseph O’Donnell, where her practice focuses on attorney liability and commercial litigation. She handles claims of legal malpractice and breach of fiduciary duty, as well as motions to disqualify and for sanctions. She regularly counsels lawyers and law firms on legal ethics and law practice management issues. She represents attorneys in disciplinary matters before the State Bar of California, and has extensive experience handling attorney-client fee disputes.  Ms. Baldwin is a Vice-Chair of the State Bar of California’s Closing the Justice Gap Working Group.  Ms. Baldwin is a former chair of the State Bar of California Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct, and is currently a member of the California Lawyers Association Ethics Committee.  She is a co-chair of the Legal Malpractice subcommittee for the American Bar Association Litigation Section Committee on Professional Services Litigation.  Ms. Baldwin served as the President of the Bar Association of San Francisco for 2017.  Ms. Baldwin frequently lectures to attorneys and professional organizations on issues related to litigation, legal malpractice and ethics issues, and she is a lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley School of Law.  Ms. Baldwin co-edited The Law of Lawyers’ Liability (ABA/First Chair Press 2012) and since 2006 she has served as a consulting editor for the Attorney Fee Agreement Forms Manual, published by Continuing Education of the Bar, California.  Prior to law school, Ms. Baldwin was a Fulbright Scholar at the London School of Economics. She can be reached at

Toby James Rothschild

Toby Rothschild graduated from UCLA School of Law in 1969 and has worked in legal services ever since.  After law school, he served as a VISTA volunteer in East Los Angeles. He then moved to the Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach where he remained for the next 30 years, serving as Executive Director for 27 years.  With the merger of Long Beach and Los Angeles legal aid organizations, he became General Counsel of LAFLA for 14 years, including 9 months as interim Executive Director.  Since retiring from LAFLA in 2014 he has served as Of Counsel to OneJustice on a volunteer basis.  He provides ethics training and consulting to legal services programs throughout California.

Toby has served on several State Bar committees, including the Committee on the Administration of Justice, the Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct and the Judicial Nominees Evaluation Committee, and the California Access to Justice Commission.  He served on the Rules Revision Commission, which drafted the new rules that went into effect in 2018, the Task Force on Access Through Innovation in Legal Services, and currently serves on the Closing the Justice Gap Working Group.  He is a founding member of the CLA Ethics Committee.

We are committed to accessibility! Virtual events are equipped with closed captioning. To request an in-person accommodation, send us a note at or contact us at 916-516-1760 for assistance.


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