Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, July 21, 2023

Seminar offers right steps for closing a practice

Aspiring attorneys devote a great deal of time, effort and expense preparing to practice law. Sandy Garrett, chief disciplinary counsel for the Board of Professional Responsibility in Tennessee, is teaching lawyers who are either approaching the end of their career or looking down the road to that day how to dedicate a sufficient amount of time to winding down their practice.

Garrett is scheduled to be in Chattanooga Thursday, Sept. 7 to teach her continuing legal education seminar “Successfully Closing Your Law Practice: A Guide to Effective Succession Planning.”

Key topics will include acquiring and discussing checklists for closing a law practice, designating in advance a receiver attorney to continue or close a law practice, and learning how to buy or sell a law practice.

The session will take place from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel and include lunch. The cost for members of the Chattanooga Bar Association will be $50, while the CBA will charge non-members $65 and staff $35. Participants will earn one-and-a-half hours of dual CLE credit.

Garrett has been with the Board of Professional Responsibility since 1992. She also serves as the executive director of the Tennessee Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection and as the southeast regional vice president of the National Client Protection Organization.

Garrett earned her Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt University and is an emeritus member of the Harry Phillips American Inn of Court, a current member of the Tennessee Bar Association Committee on Ethics, and an honorary TBA Young Lawyers Fellow.

CBA Executive Director Lynda Hood says the CBA has received many calls from attorneys who want to know how to wind down their practice when they’re ready to retire.

Garrett will not only cover this topic in detail, Hood says, but will also provide information on being prepared for an unexpected departure from the practice of law, such as death.

“We’ve seen attorneys die suddenly, and their computers are locked and no one has the passwords for obtaining the client files or information about their cases,” Hood says. “We also receive questions from family members about how long they must keep the closed files of a deceased attorney. To address these and other questions, we’ve invited Sandy to Chattanooga.”

Register at www.chattanoogabar.org or lhood@chattanoogabar.org.