When the Attorney-Client Relationship Ends

We're pleased to announce an article in the New York Law Journal, entitled When the "Attorney-Client Relationship Ends" appears today in the Outside Counsel column. Here is an excerpt from the article:

"As do all things in life, an attorney-client relationship, once commenced must someday end. It may end at the settlement or verdict of a litigation, it may end at the completion of a transaction, or it may end in the middle. How the attorney-client representation ends has significant effect on fees, compensation and potential legal malpractice liability. Litigations comprise a large portion of attorney-client interactions, and present a sharper beginning and end than do transactions. Transactions might include real estate leases and sales, business negotiations, employment negotiations or contract. Nevertheless, at some time all of these events will be over.

For the most part, it's not the end of a relationship that results in tension, negotiation or litigation, it's attorney fees. Depending on the format of those fees, whether hourly, contingent, flat or a hybrid, the end of the attorney-client relationship often indicates or triggers a dispute over fees. Disputes over fees consistently occupy a large amount of attorney time and are governed by some well-understood principles.

We will examine discharge of the attorney by the client first. Later we'll look at attorneys who wish to end the relationship and must do so with permission of the court. Discharge of an attorney by a client is binary. It is either for cause or not for cause.

 

Read more: http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/PubArticleNY.jsp?id=1202615356079&When_the_AttorneyClient_Relationship_Ends#ixzz2bw7UY46Z

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