The Lawyer-Client Relationship Continuum: Determining Duties Owed After Casual Conversations


Does a casual conversation provide a solid business opportunity or a potential ethical conundrum? The lawyer-client relationship forms along a continuum, beginning with the non-client and moving to potential to prospective to current to former client. Depending on where an individual falls on this continuum, lawyers may owe certain ethical duties. At what point does a conversation at the grocery trigger the lawyer-client relationship continuum? (Hint: The answer is not the payment of fees.) How can you identify the stage of relationship development and ensure you are meeting your applicable ethical duties?

This session will provide an overview of the rules and opinions governing lawyer-client formation in Kentucky, including the recent 2022 Kentucky Bar Association Formal Ethics Opinion on Prospective Clients. The presenters will then explore real-world scenarios, identifying various stages of lawyer-client relationship development. Attendees will gain an understanding of how to navigate these encounters to ensure acceptance of only those intended clients.


Thank you for taking time to watch this pre-recorded program. We hope it provided some valuable tips for your practice. Below is the post program information. Please review and complete each item to ensure you get CLE credit.

  • The program has been approved for 1.0 hours of CLE.
  • CLEs for our activities are only available to LMICK Policyholders.
  • The program has not been approved for ethics credit.
  • Each attorney must go to the KBA website, login and post their CLE Credit. Instructions can be downloaded here.
  • This program has only been approved in Kentucky. If you wish for credit in other states, you are responsible for submitted the program for approval.

  • Kentucky — KBA Program Number 253919