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Flashcards in Professional Responsibility Deck (20)
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Attorney Fees

Attorney's fees must be reasonable based on the time involved, the skill involved, and other attorney's in the community.


Contingency Fees

Attorney's fees that are determined based on the outcome of the case. >40% is unreasonable.


Contingency Fees

1. Can never have contingency fees in family law or criminal law
2. Client must be given Florida Bar's Statement of Client Rights


Contingency Fees

1. In writing
2. Signed by the client and the attorney
3. Must state the percentage the attorney is to get
4. Must state how the percentage is to be determined
5. Must state whether the percentage is before or after expenses are paid


Conflict of Interest

An attorney must maintain their INDEPENDENT PROFESSIONAL JUDGMENT. An attorney cannot have an interest that is adverse to their client unless they get informed consent from the the client.


Informed Consent

Explain the conflict to the client and get written consent.


Conflict of Interest Between Former Clients

Must get informed consent of both the former client and the current client.


Conflict of Interest Between Current Clients

Must get informed consent from all the clients and explain the implications, advantages, and risks to all of the clients


Conflict of Interest

1. An attorney cannot acquire an interest that is adverse to the client EXCEPT as a lien to secure the attorney's fees or expenses

2. An attorney cannot acquire an interest in the subject matter of the litigation


Client Representation

1. Duty of competent representation
2. Duty of diligent representation
3. Duty of Confidentiality
An attorney cannot reveal information relating to the
representation of a client.
- With client consent
- Disclosure is impliedly authorized by the
- To prevent a FUTURE criminal act
4. Cannot give financial assistance to the client
- Can pay expenses in a contingency fee agreement
- If representing an indigent client who is not paying
you, you can pay all necessary fees
5. Attorney can give non-legal advice (personal, emotional, spiritual, moral, political, etc.)


Business Transaction with Client

An attorney cannot do business transactions with a client unless the transaction is fair and reasonable to the client and the client gives informed consent.


Obligations to Unrepresented Parties

A lawyer cannot allow someone to think she is disinterested if that is not the case. The attorney must correct that misunderstanding. The only appropriate advice to an unrepresented client is to get a lawyer


Client Solicitation

Attorney cannot directly solicit a client for pecuniary gain ($$). 30 days after an accident, an attorney can solicit in writing. Can directly solicit pro bono.


Lawyers and Liability for Non-Legal Services

If services are co-mingled --> PR rules apply
If services are separate --> PR rules do not apply


Payment of Attorney's Fees by a Third Party

A third party can pay an attorney's fees but the client must give informed consent and the attorney must maintain their independent professional judgment. Attorney must keep confidentiality with client, not 3rd party payer.


Fraud on Court - Candor Toward Tribunal

An attorney cannot knowingly lie or allow a witness to lie to the court. If you find out about the lie later, you must break confidentiality


Assist in Crime

An attorney can advise about criminal liability in good faith but the attorney cannot assist or allow the client to use the lawyer to commit a crime. The lawyer can break confidentiality to prevent a future crime.


Trust Account

An attorney must have a trust account in the attorney's name "(law firm name) PA Trust Account" An attorney can never co-mingle a client's funds or property with his own.


Referral Fees

Referral fees from other lawyer's just for sending a client to you is improper. Referral fees are only allowed if either services are performed by both attorneys OR with informed written consent of the client and one attorney represents the client but both attorneys assume joint responsibility for the case.



If attorney is acting like a jerk in the fact pattern --> "An attorney must act reasonably and that this is unprofessional conduct and could result in discipline"