Professional Liability & Judicial Ethics
Heather L. Rosing's practice focuses on professional liability, ethics, and risk management for members of the legal community. Clients run the gamut from attorneys and judges who are accused of wrongdoing to firms that need to stay abreast of ever-evolving standards.
"We represent hundreds of law firms, and, in today's environment, more and more lawyers are seeking out our risk management advice and our State Bar defense assistance," said Rosing, who is CEO of Klinedinst PC. "It seems like every lawyer needs a lawyer. We enjoy working with these sophisticated partners on tackling the issues of the day."
Rosing is seeing a renewed focus on ethics compliance, in part driven by the State Bar of California's new trust accounting program.
"The State Bar is going to start trust account audits, and there is a heightened sense of the risk of noncompliance," said Rosing, who is CEO of Klinedinst PC. "And most lawyers also really want to do the right thing when they handle client funds."
Ms. Rosing is also seeing an increase in client trust account fraud by hackers who get access to access to email systems through phishing scams. She teaches preventative educational programs to get the word out.
"We've seen these scams involving $10,000 at the low end and $19 million at the high end," she said. "Lower amounts do not seem to trigger an aggressive law enforcement response, which can be problematic."
Rosing has been a top volunteer leader with numerous legal organizations. She currently serves on the statewide Judicial Fairness Coalition and Civility Task Force. As the chair of the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Lawyers Professional Liability, she leads the National Legal Malpractice Conferences. "Attorneys come to our conferences to stay up to speed on a rapidly changing profession," said Rosing.
Part of this training involves helping lawyers develop an awareness of trends that pose risk. For example, law firms can be unwittingly dragged into Ponzi schemes or other illegal activity, and a receiver may later try to point the finger at the lawyer. Nonclients are suing lawyers more often, especially in the family law and estate planning arenas. Lawyers improperly using artificial intelligence research tools is generating a lot of press.
"It is a complex and perilous environment out there," said Rosing. "And it can be very hard for lawyers, even the most sophisticated ones, to spot all the landmines."
In addition to her practice, Rosing serves as the CEO of her firm, focusing on employee wellness, inclusion, and innovation. Rosing has been with Klinedinst PC for 28 of its 40 years of operation, and the firm now assists clients in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.
"Newer things like nontraditional working environments, generative AI, and out-of-the-box funding arrangements are becoming the norm," said Rosing. "Law firms must keep up with the times."