Retention, Privileges and the Code of Professional Conduct
Establishing the Establishing the Client – Attorney Relationship: Client – Attorney Relationship: Using problem 6.4 and the clip from the movie “Philadelphia” as a reference point, brainstorm Questions a client should as the attorney Questions the attorney should ask the client
How strong / weak is the case? What is the lawyer’s experience handling this type case? How will the lawyer investigate the case? What other legal staff will be working the case? What are the potential alternatives and outcomes? How will the client be kept up to date about the case ? If on retainer how will the client be billed?
Facts determining the strength / weakness of the case. How did the client hear about the attorney? What other information will the attorney need from the potential client? Potential defendants / other potential plaintiffs? Is there any potential conflicts? The veracity of the client? Retainer or contingency? If retainer, how (will?) the client pay?
“SHOW ME DA MONNIE!!!!” Retainer Fees: “A down payment by which a client hires an attorney to act in his or her behalf.” When is this used? Contingency Fees “ A fee paid to the attorney based on the percentage of the sum the client is awarded or settles for in a lawsuit.”
Defined: To encourage the client to speak freely with her attorney, the law holds all communications between the client an attorney as confidential.
Why is it significant? The court cannot compel an attorney to disclose the private communications he or she has with the client. Perspective: other significant legal relationships husband / wife priest / parishioner
The nature of the adversarial legal system The duty to zealously represent the client But what about society?????
Once the relationship is established, what is the attorney’s duty to serve the client? Problem 6.4: pg 70
A lawyer represents a client who is sentenced to death for the murder of three people. The bodies of the victims were never found. In confidence, the client tells his lawyer where the bodies of the victim are located.
With his client’s permission, the lawyer negotiates with the prosecutor to get his client’s sentence reduced to life sentence if he releases the information so the victim’s families can properly bury them. Because a life sentence carries the chance of parole, the prosecutor rejects the lawyer’s offer.
Five years pass. Angry and distraught, the families of the victims file a complaint against the lawyer seeking his disbarment for violating Canon 2 of the Professional Code of Conduct.
Problem 6.2 Is it legal? Is it moral? Is it simply in bad taste? If not advertising then where?