PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: PRACTICAL ISSUES FOR THE PRACTICE ADMINISTRATOR
By Herbert A. Stroh*
The sudden death or disability of a sole practitioner raises a host of issues requiring immediate attention. Client matters may be hanging in the balance. Court appearances, statutes of limitation, filing deadlines and other time-sensitive actions that are part of the usual mechanics of a law practice pose risks for the client and the unavailable attorney alike. To preserve the client’s rights and protect the member’s interest, the Probate Code allows for the appointment of a practice administrator with the authority to handle client matters and avoid disaster.
The first thing a potential practice administrator will learn is that there is little or no guidance to be found from treatises, practice guides, or State Bar resources. The subsequent lack of direction can result in a paralysis that harms the interests of clients and the unavailable attorney. The author’s goal is to highlight the practical issues arising from the sudden unavailability of a sole practitioner, and offer suggestions for both how to proceed with a practice administration and how a sole practitioner can better plan for the management and disposition of the practice.