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Does an Ethical Breach Bar an Attorney from Getting Fees?

The short answer: Yes, under California law, an attorney’s ethical breach of duty may disqualify that attorney from all or part of a fee award. But there’s a possible exception. Continue reading

What to Include in a Fee Agreement for Forming a Corporation

If you represent clients in forming a California corporation, you should have a fee agreement that is specifically tailored for that type of work. Here are the necessary provisions to include. Continue reading

What to Tell Clients About Their Files at the End of the Case

Case files routinely contain documents (and sometimes other property) that clients have provided. The California Rules of Professional Conduct require that an attorney return these items, at a client’s request, when the attorney’s “employment has terminated” (subject to “any protective order or nondisclosure agreement”). Cal Rules of Prof Cond 3–700(D)(1). Here’s sample language that you can use in a letter to a client at the end of the case. Continue reading

When Your Gut Says Not to Take a Case

You know how you get a “gut feeling” against someone or a situation? This can definitely happen in your law practice. It may be that your personal observations, discussions, or other interactions with a prospective client will lead you to believe that you couldn’t adequately represent the client, or that the client won’t cooperate with you on the matter. When you get that feeling and decide to heed it, here’s how to politely and effectively extricate yourself. Continue reading

The Do’s and Don’ts of Cultivating Clients in the Marijuana Field

thinkstockphotos-597927996The following is a guest blog post by Allison B. Margolin, a partner at Margolin and Lawrence in Los Angeles. Ms. Margolin practices criminal defense and civil litigation in both state and federal court.

California’s new law legalizing recreational marijuana has attracted people from all walks of life to the industry. In turn, this will bring new clients to attorneys. But before you represent clients in marijuana-related businesses, consider these tips. Continue reading

Litigators: Send These 5 Letters to Your Clients

92419672It’s crucial that attorneys maintain regular and open communication with their clients.  When it comes to litigation, communications often come in the form of status report letters. Here are 5 letters that litigators send to their clients and what to include in them. Continue reading

Fee Agreements: Say What You Won’t Be Doing

thinkstockphotos-493171033Many times you can anticipate related services that you don’t intend to provide under the existing fee agreement with the client, but that the client might want provided. Like when you’re retained to negotiate a dispute, but not to litigate it. Or a settlement may have tax consequences for the client, but you won’t be giving tax advice. Be fair to the client and protect yourself by stating any excluded services in your fee agreement. Continue reading

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