Florida Bar Rules Retainer Agreement

- September 20, 2021

A lawyer who receives a transfer fee must sign the fee agreement if it is a success fee case or, if it is not a success fee case, the placement fee is not paid in proportion to the work done by each lawyer. The transfer fee agreement must be in writing and signed by any lawyer in accordance with Rule 4-1.5(g)(2). In the case of a success fee, Rule 4-1.5(f)(2) also requires each lawyer to sign the transfer fee agreement. If the referral agreement is contemplated at the beginning of the case, the lawyers and the client would likely consider this part of the fee agreement at the beginning. If the recommendation agreement is concluded subsequently, the brokerage fee agreement must still be in writing and must be concluded within a reasonable time after the conclusion of the recommendation agreement. However, if the case involves contingency costs, lawyers should be aware of the case law governing the date on which lawyers may receive fees in a success fee case where their representation ends before the eventuality occurs. In general, when a lawyer withdraws from representation before the eventuality occurs, the lawyer loses a fee, unless the client`s conduct makes it legally impossible to continue the lawyer`s representation or incites the lawyer to violate the lawyer`s rules. See Faro v. Romani, 641, para. 2d 69 (fla. 1994). In Santini v. Cleveland Clinic Florida, 65 d.3d 22 (Fla.

4th DCA 2011), the court decided that a lawyer who had to withdraw from representation due to a suspension refused Faro`s fees because the client`s conduct did not require the resignation. On the other hand, in Chastain v Cunningham Law Group, P.A., 16 So.3d 203 (fla. 2nd DCA 2009), the court found that a suspended lawyer (who subsequently resigned from the bar) is entitled to Quantum Meruit for matters of immeable fees if the suspended lawyer has entered into an agreement with the law firm that takes over the business, in which the suspended lawyer Quantum Meruit is paid for ongoing occasional fee cases and paid by the hour as a specialist lawyer. The Chastain court distinguished Faro`s case because the suspended lawyer did not seek a pledge against the former client. On the contrary, according to the court, the suspended lawyer attempted to impose a written agreement with the registry that succeeded him. As a result, many lawyers ask for an advance on fees, a fee bond, or a reviewer before accepting a case. ANSWER: A “of counsel” relationship is more than just a wire transfer agreement. A lawyer may be considered a “lawyer” if he or she has a regular and ongoing relationship with a lawyer or law firm in a capacity other than that of a partner or partner. Notices 72-29; 75-41; 71-49. . .

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