Keeping Your Fee Deposit Topped Up

client should top off fee deposit like a gas tankDo you know how to keep your client’s fee deposit from emptying out as you earn the fees? Here are two ways to do it. Continue reading

Spell Out the Effective Date of Your Fee Agreement

Every contract for legal services should contain a clause specifying the date the agreement will become effective. This date establishes the beginning of the attorney-client relationship and marks the beginning of the attorney’s fiduciary duties toward the client. Continue reading

Do You Know When an Oral Fee Agreement is Enough?

lawyer trying to remember all of the circumstances in which an oral fee agreement is okayAlthough you should always memorialize your attorney-client fee agreements in writing, there are some limited circumstances in which an oral agreement covering attorney fees is legally permissible. How many of those circumstances can you identify? Continue reading

How to Cover Costs in Your Fee Agreement

money in hand representing costs attorney can recoverIt’s not just attorney fees that you need to discuss in your fee agreement with your client—make sure to cover costs, including whether you’ll advance them. Here are the basics that you need to know, including sample language for your agreement. Continue reading

Don’t Forget to Include Client Responsibilities in Your Fee Agreement

lawyer handing fee agreement to client with provisions setting out responsibilities of lawyer and clientYour attorney fee agreement should not only state your responsibilities as the attorney, it should also include a provision setting out the client’s responsibilities. Check out these sample provisions. 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

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

Covering Costs in Contingent Fee Agreements

When you’re working for a contingent fee, i.e., you’ll be paid a percentage of the recovery, don’t forget to discuss the payment of costs in your fee agreement with your client. Here’s what you’ll need to include to be sure you cover costs. Continue reading

Confidentiality Among Co-Clients?

ThinkstockPhotos-97050627Whenever you’re representing multiple clients with respect to the same subject matter, make sure to address the issue of confidentiality right at the beginning of the attorney-client relationship—in fact, you should cover it in your fee agreement. Continue reading