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Legal Ethics New Legal Developments Practice of Law

Where Should You Deposit Fees Paid by Clients?

Effective November 1, 2018, the State Bar of California has amended California Rules of Professional Conduct 1.15 (former Rule 4-100) to establish new rules on handling flat fees. Under Cal Rules of Prof Cond 1.15(a), all funds received or held by a lawyer or law firm for the benefit of a client must be kept in a trust account. But there are a couple of exceptions.

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Appeals/Post-Trial Matters Civil Litigation Legal Topics Litigation Strategy

Did You Know You Can Collect Fees for Time Spent Collecting Fees?

Collecting attorney fee awards and enforcing judgments can be very time-consuming. Don’t forget to collect attorney fees for time spent chasing down your fees in collection efforts.

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Practice of Law Starting a Law Practice

Know the Limits on Attorney Fees

Attorneys can’t always get what they want in attorney fees. There are statutory limitations, fees subject to court approval, and fee agreements that violate public policy.

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Legal Ethics Practice of Law

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.

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Legal Ethics Practice of Law

Read This Before You Go the Contingency Fee Route

ThinkstockPhotos-135547447Among the several alternatives to the traditional hourly fee arrangement, contingency fees have been commonly used for decades. Under a contingent fee agreement, the attorney and client agree that the attorney will receive a particular percentage of the client’s recovery or of the savings obtained for the client as a fee for legal services, if there is a recovery. The attorney takes on the risk with the potential for significant reward. Not surprisingly, there are statutory requirements for these types of agreements—and failing to comply with them is risky, too.

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Legal Ethics Practice of Law

When Someone Else Is Paying Your Fees

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When, in a noncontingent matter, a third party is paying all or some of the attorney fees for your client, do you know how to deal with the issues that can arise? Short answer: Address them upfront in your fee agreement. Here are sample provisions to get you started.

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New Lawyers Practice of Law Starting a Law Practice

How to Get and Handle Retainer Fees

ThinkstockPhotos-481542713If you’re new to practice, you may have heard of retainer fees but aren’t sure how to get them and whether you can keep them. Here’s a look at the rules and a sample retainer provision to help you out.

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Legal Ethics Practice of Law

Splitting Fees? Get Client Consent ASAP

124041823Common scenario: You do some work for a client and then pass off the client to another attorney, agreeing to split the attorney fees. Later you want to get your share of the fees. The Rules of Professional Conduct require that you get the client’s written consent to any fee-splitting agreement. Did you get the client’s consent right away, or are you now at the mercy of the other attorney?

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Civil Litigation Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Settlement Negotiation

Plaintiffs: Reject §998 Settlement Offers at Your Peril

170446161Last week on CEBblog™, we discussed the consequences of a defendant rejecting a settlement offer under CCP §998 and then getting creamed at trial. But §998 is an equal opportunity statute with consequences for plaintiffs too.

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Civil Litigation Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Settlement Negotiation

Defendants: Reject §998 Settlement Offers at Your Peril

170446161Here’s a cautionary tale for all those defense attorneys who don’t take §998 settlement offers seriously enough.