The Law for Lawyers Today

The Law for Lawyers Today

Ethics, Professional Responsibility and More

Category Archives: Fees

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Bring third-party funders out of “the shadows,” U.S. Chamber asks federal rules committee

Posted in Conflicts, Fees, Law Practice Management
Litigation funding is in the news again, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce spearheading a request to amend the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to require initial disclosure of all third-party agreements for compensation that are “contingent on, and sourced from, any proceeds of the civil action, by settlement, judgment or otherwise.” The Chamber joined… Continue Reading

Join ‘em if you can’t beat ‘em? NC considers ethics rule changes to aid Avvo-like services

Posted in Advertising and Solicitation, Fees, Law Practice Management
Avvo Legal Services has been meeting with North Carolina bar regulators, resulting in a draft proposal that would amend several legal ethics rules and make it easier for Avvo to operate in the Tar Heel State, according to Prof. Alberto Bernabe, a Chicago law professor who has seen some of the relevant documents, and blogged about them… Continue Reading

NY high court enforces fee-sharing agreement, although client didn’t consent

Posted in Fees
Following an $8 million settlement in a personal injury suit, the New York Court of Appeals held that a fee-sharing agreement between two lawyers was enforceable, even though it violated ethics requirements.  The court said that counsel’s failure to inform her client and obtain consent to the fee split was a “serious ethical violation,” but it did not… Continue Reading

For the first time, court requires “litigation funders” to be disclosed — but only in class actions

Posted in Fees
On January 26, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California became the first to mandate disclosure of litigation funding that parties in class actions receive from outside sources, under a revision to the court's standing order applicable to all cases. The rule provides that "in any proposed class, collective or representative action, the required disclosure includes any person or entity that is funding the prosecution of any claim or counterclaim."… Continue Reading

Unpaid legal interns’ work can be billed to clients as fees or costs, NY state bar ass’n says

Posted in Communication, Fees, Law Practice Management
In today's soft legal services market, some aspiring members of the profession feel pressure to work for free, but the fairness of such arrangements in general has come under scrutiny. In a twist, the New York State Bar Association earlier this month said that law firms could bill clients for services provided by unpaid legal interns, as long as the amount is not excessive, and the internship program complies with applicable law. … Continue Reading

Can lawyers barter their services? Connecticut ethics opinion says “Yes.”

Posted in Fees, Law Practice Management
Bartering for goods and services seems old-fashioned, even primitive — after all, that’s why money was invented, right?  But bartering might be viewed as a component of today’s “sharing economy,” which involves more-direct, Internet-facilitated interactions between consumers and providers. A recent informal opinion of the Connecticut Bar Association Standing Committee on Professional Ethics advised that lawyers may participate in a… Continue Reading

Billing follies — what not to do

Posted in Fees, How Not to Practice, Law Practice Management
This week’s not-to-be-missed article on lawyer folly is a jaw dropping round-up of bad billing conduct, as reported in the American Lawyer. It’s well-known that every jurisdiction’s version of Model Rule 1.5 prohibits charging an unreasonable fee or an unreasonable amount for expenses.  So what could lawyers have been thinking when they did things like this: •… Continue Reading

No insurance coverage for attorneys’ fees that were ordered as a “sanction”

Posted in Fees, Insurance
If you or your firm were ordered to pay a party’s legal fees as a “sanction” for professional misconduct, would your professional liability insurance cover that payment? In a recent case, the district court for the Northern District of Illinois left a law firm high and dry, holding that the policy exclusion for sanctions meant that… Continue Reading

Legal malpractice is compulsory counterclaim in fee suit, Ohio court of appeals says

Posted in Fees, Malpractice
When a lawyer sues a client for unpaid fees, the client must assert any possible claim for legal malpractice as a compulsory counterclaim, the Ohio Eighth District Court of Appeals has held.   In other words:  use it or lose it.  The court upheld summary judgment in favor of a lawyer whose client failed to assert such a counterclaim. In… Continue Reading