Terminating Your Client


Experienced lawyers will discuss the ethical and risk management considerations that can affect the decision to terminate a client representation. 


  • Withdrawal of representation: What do the rules say?
  • Mandatory versus permissive withdrawal
  • Risk management considerations: When does withdrawing from a client representation make sense?
  • Fee issues: attorney liens and monies due to the client
  • Tips to avoid fee disputes
  • File return to the client: What are your obligations?



Merri Baldwin (Chair) is a shareholder at Rogers Joseph O'Donnell in San Francisco, 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 member of the California Lawyers Association Ethics Committee, and is a past chair of the State Bar of California Committee on Professional Responsibility of Conduct. 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. 

Daniel O'Rielly is an experienced litigator and trial attorney, advises and counsels California law firms and attorneys, focusing his practice on Legal Ethics Counsel, Law Firm Risk Management, Law Firm Formation and Dissolution, and Partner Departure Law. Mr. O'Rielly's clients are California law firms and California attorneys and practice groups. He represents California law firms and arroneys regarding attorney ethics issues, practice management, and compliance. 


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