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Lawyers Gone Ethical

Feb 5, 2019

We’ve all heard tales of the horror stories from attorney-client relationships that have gone horribly wrong. Regardless of who is right and who is wrong, both parties suffer when this happens. With a few simple guidelines and a few hours of your time, you can implement a process that will help you and your clients have a successful relationship!

Today’s topic will focus on how a couple hours each year, you should reevaluate your fee agreements, which are also known as client engagement letters and retainer agreements. The fee agreement is fundamental to establishing the relationship. Listen today and discover how this document can get your attorney-client relationship started the right way!

What We Discuss in this Episode:

  • Why a fee agreement is so important and is a foundational document
  • What a fee agreement is for
  • Key points on client engagement letters:
    • 1. Identify who the client is, as it is a critical question
    • 2. What have you agreed to do for them, the scope of the engagement written very clearly
    • 3. Terms of payment are clear
    • 4. What should happen if you disagree with a client – Fee Arbitrations, Dispute resolutions, and mediation clause
  • Mediation between the parties that can help with communication
  • Strongly suggest starting with sample agreements put out by your state
  • Other important clauses, like the Cooperation clause
  • Document retention policy –  and two things:
    • 1. How long a client can expect you to have a copy of everything
    • 2. What’s going to happen with the original documents
  • Modes of communication
  • Social media release and if it can be in the fee agreement 
  • Feedback and reviews in the fee agreement 


Thank you for listening!

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Email me at megan[at]zaviehlaw[dot]com

This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not to be construed as legal advice specific to your circumstances. If you need help with any legal matters, be sure to consult with an attorney regarding your specific needs.