If you’re a practicing attorney in the State of New Mexico, you must have a NM Lawyer Succession Plan. The compliance deadline is October 1st, 2022.
What is a NM Lawyer Succession Plan?
A Succession Plan must identify the steps to be taken in the event of the lawyer’s extended incapacity from practicing law, or the lawyer’s disability or death.
At a minimum, the Succession Plan must include:
- the identity of the lawyer or law firm designated to carry out the terms of the succession plan (the “assisting lawyer”);
- the location of information necessary to access the lawyer’s current list of active clients, client files, and other client information including computer and other relevant passwords; and
- information regarding the lawyer’s trust and operating accounts and corresponding records.
You must have a “Notice of Plan” that is approved and signed by an “Assisting Attorney”. You must submit a “Certificate of Compliance” to the State Bar of New Mexico annually.
What is the “Assisting Attorney” in a NM Lawyer Succession Plan?
An “Assisting Attorney” in a NM Lawyer Succession Plan is the attorney who will maintain possession of the lawyer’s Succession Plan, and execute it if, heaven forbid, something happens to the lawyer.
The “Assisting Attorney” must be a licensed attorney in the State of New Mexico, but it’s not necessary that the “Assisting Attorney” maintain the same type of legal practice. The “Assisting Attorney” will reassign matters, and help existing clients find new representation. Conflicts checking is simply not possible under such circumstances, and is not required.
Need Help Writing a Succession Plan?
L4SB offers a number of services to help attorneys and law firms comply with the Professional Rules of Conduct pertaining to NM Lawyer Succession Plans.
First, if you are a sole practitioner and in need an “Assisting Lawyer,” L4SB can be your “Assisting Lawyer” for a low monthly fee, depending on the number of open matters you typically have.
Next, L4SB can write your NM Lawyer Succession Plan, and provide the relevant documents you need for compliance with the Rules.
Finally, L4SB maintains CPA and IT staff, and can assist you improving and/or streamlining your processes for your practice or for a more effective NM Lawyer Succession Plan, should you want it.
L4SB can help you as much, or as little, as you need to maintain compliance with Rule 16-119, Lawyer Succession Planning.
Please contact us to discuss your needs and how we can help you.