Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Client Engagement Management -- Conflicts, Waivers & Engagement Letters

Protect Yourself From the Start With Engagement Letters -- McKenna Long partners J. Randolph Evans and Shari L. Klevens write about the importance of engagement letters:
  • "When risk managers audit a law practice for the risk of legal malpractice, they look first at the files to see if every file contains an executed engagement/retainer letter or fee contract. This one document is one of the most reliable indicators of whether a law practice has in place systems that can effectively reduce the risks of malpractice claims in a modern-day law practice."
  • "Some legal malpractice insurers favor law practices that require, without exception, an executed engagement letter or fee contract before a file can be opened."
Client Withdrew Conflict Waiver, Now What? -- Dean Dietrich, former chair of the State Bar Professional Ethics Committee and presently with Rudder Ware, looks at what happens when clients revoke a conflicts waiver:
  • "A client's revocation of consent to a lawyer's concurrent representation of another client with conflicting interests does not necessarily require the lawyer to withdraw from representing the second client… If there is a significant change in the circumstances that existed when the first client waived the conflict, the lawyer may not be able to continue the representation of the second client."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Engagement letters are also increasingly important in order for the law firm and client to address the business, legal, and ethical rules for managing digital information assets of the client. More and more, law firms are no different than any other custodians of vital digital corporate assets, and the issues of information security, access, control, records management, etc. deserve attention.

I am a bit surprised that there is not greater focus on the issues--after all, law firms may actually possess the most vital information--the evidence of the truth of a company's guilt or innocence.

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