(1) WITHDRAWAL MRPC 1.16 (addressed to lawyer!): structure (a) Mandatory withdrawal (or prohibited acceptance) (b) Permissive withdrawal (i) w/o material adverse effect on client interests, or (ii) enumerated causes (2-6), or (iii) other “good cause” (c)Conditions imposed by other law (d) remaining obligations
Problem p. 297 P.i. client, 40% contingent fee, negotiation w/ D D makes settlement offer $75K; you consider it reasonable, C rejects out of hand, you believe it’s far better than C can get at trial what are your options? any more room for discussion with C? Do you have a basis for withdrawal? If you withdraw, do you have a claim for a fee?
Problem p. 297 c’t’d Same K, C suggests 2 “eyewitnesses”, you have interviewed them and you are certain they weren’t there, but C insists. you “immediately withdraw” – have you acted properly? do you have a basis for withdrawal? how do you go about doing that? do you have an option besides withdrawal?
Problem p. 297 c’t’d Same C, different K: $175/hr, billed monthly; 2 mos. billing, $6900, C hasn’t paid, promises to pay “soon” Can you withdraw? Should you withdraw? What do you take into account in deciding that? How do you go about doing it, if you do it?
(2) Discharge Problem p. 211 You have represented C for years in defense of a p.i. claim; judge at pretrial conf. suggests a settlement at $200K; you think (correctly!) this is reasonable and recommend it to C’s BoD; BoD fires you what is the immediate effect of discharge? are you entitled to a fee? How much? 150 hrs. expended, “normal fee” is $250/hr what, if any, was your fee agreement w/ C? did C have cause to fire you? What difference does that make?
Problem p. 211 c’t’d When are you entitled to receive the fee? upon discharge? after case is completed? Compare Somuah, p. 212, and AFLAC, n. 1 p. 218 had you agreed to a fee contingent on the outcome? if not, are you claiming the right to recover for the fees you would have earned if you had completed the case?
Discharge c’t’d Your brother is a partner of P’s attorney, and you though you were doing him a favor in negotiating; you withdraw w/ C’s consent. Are you entitled to a fee for services rendered? If you have already been paid in part, can you keep that money? Assume you’re full-time employed “house counsel” for the corp. under long-term K w/ good cause requirement. Can you still be fired as in Q. (a)? N. 5 p. 222
Attorneys’Liens, n. 8 p. 224 “ Charging lien”: in the case of litigation, the subject matter of the litigation or its proceeds governed by statute in most jurs. (incl. MO) attaches upon commencement of action or filing of counterclaim if L has contingent fee, lien letter to opposing party disclosing fact of CF and %, makes lien enforceable against that party if “deforced” by settlement w/o L’s consent “Retaining lien” attaches to prop. of C in L’s possession right to retain until fee is paid disapproved by Restatement, California (case law), and Missouri (ethics opinion)