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Tag Archives: Attorney-client relationship

Can Lawyers Lie to the Court?

By Robert Ross |

Short answer: NO. LAWYERS HAVE A “DUTY OF CANDOR” TO COURTS AND OTHER TRIBUNALS When a lawyer represents a client in front of a “tribunal” (which includes not only litigation in a trial court or on appeal, but arbitration and other formal dispute resolution proceedings also) the lawyer cannot: Knowingly lie, or make false… Read More »

Is it Malpractice if a Lawyer Refuses to Take a Case?

By Robert Ross |

LAWYERS ARE NOT REQUIRED TO TAKE ON EVERY CASE A PROSPECTIVE CLIENT BRINGS THEM While there are circumstances in which a lawyer may be required, or strongly encouraged, to take a case, those circumstances rarely involve truly “private” legal matters. In other words, no, it often (and, in most cases, usually) is not malpractice for… Read More »

Can My Old Lawyer Refuse to Give My File to My New Lawyer?

By Robert Ross |

NO.   LAWYERS MUST RELEASE THE CLIENT’S FILE PROMPTLY, UPON REQUEST Attorneys have a legal duty to release the client’s file (at the client’s request) upon termination of the attorney-client relationship, regardless of the reason for termination. The lawyer must release “all materials and property” belonging to the client (including electronic files), and must release them… Read More »

When Your Lawyer Quits: Substitution of and Cooperation With New Counsel

By Robert Ross |

This post is part of an ongoing series about the obligations lawyers have when terminating (quitting) representation of a client. To start from the original post, click here (the post will open in a new window).   LAWYERS HAVE A DUTY TO SIGN SUBSTITUTION OF COUNSEL FORMS WHEN REQUESTED OR NECESSARY Whenever a client… Read More »

When Your Lawyer Quits: Returning Unearned Legal Fees

By Robert Ross |

This post is part of an ongoing series about the obligations lawyers have when terminating (quitting) representation of a client. To start from the original post, click here (the post will open in a new window).   WHEN A LAWYER QUITS OR IS FIRED, UNEARNED FEES MUST BE RETURNED TO THE FORMER CLIENT  When… Read More »

When Your Lawyer Quits: Protecting Confidential Information

By Robert Ross |

This post is part of an ongoing series about the obligations lawyers have when terminating (quitting) representation of a client. To start from the original post, click here (the post will open in a new window). EVEN AFTER TERMINATING THE ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP, A LAWYER MUST MAINTAIN THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE CLIENT’S CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION It’s… Read More »

When Your Lawyer Quits: Avoiding Prejudice to the Client

By Robert Ross |

This post is part of an ongoing series about the obligations lawyers have when terminating (quitting) representation of a client. To start from the original post, click here (the post will open in a new window).   A LAWYER MUST AVOID CAUSING PREJUDICE TO THE (FORMER) CLIENT Lawyers who withdraw from representing a client… Read More »

Can You Hire A Lawyer Without a Written Agreement?

By Robert Ross |

In some cases, Yes – but the answer isn’t quite that simple:  ATTORNEY CLIENT RELATIONSHIPS CAN BE CREATED BY IMPLIED AGREEMENT An implied agreement is a legally-recognized contract that arises even when no written agreement exists, if the parties’ actions demonstrate that they intended (or, in some cases, believed) they had an agreement. Sometimes… Read More »

Are Consultations With a Lawyer Confidential?

By Robert Ross |

Even though (in most cases) an attorney-client relationship is required to support a malpractice claim, even a consultation can be enough to establish an attorney-client relationship for purposes of attorney-client privilege. WHAT IS ATTORNEY-CLIENT PRIVILEGE? Attorney-client privilege is one of the oldest confidentiality protections recognized in the United States. Although the name includes both… Read More »

Can I Sue An Attorney Who Gave Me A Consultation?

By Robert Ross |

WHAT IS A LEGAL CONSULTATION? Many lawyers offer consultations, (often free of charge) at which a potential client can ask questions about a potential case or claim. Sometimes, the lawyer will offer suggestions, or discuss the potential claims or legal actions available to the potential client. Consultations also give the lawyer an opportunity to consider whether… Read More »

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