Necessary Forms

How To Write A Client Questionnaire – Criminal Cases

How To Write A Client Questionnaire – Criminal Cases

No attorney relies on an initial in-person interview as the first means of encapsulating the relevant information related to a client. Before an attorney sits down with a client for the first time, a diligent attorney requires a client to complete some type of intake form or questionnaire. A completed new client questionnaire provides an attorney with a checklist and self-screening device designed to obtain, in a short amount of time, the information required to review a client for the ability to pay fees and the absence of any conflict of interest or other potential problematic attorney-client issues that may...

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Motion Practice – Preliminary Considerations

Motion Practice – Preliminary Considerations

Attorneys file a vast number of motions over their careers. Motion practice is the most common courtroom experience in a legal services practice. The submission of a motion pre- or post-trial enables a party to approach a court directly and request it to perform some specific action, such as a ruling on a legal issue. Motions may be filed at any stage of a criminal, civil, or even an administrative proceeding, and they may request almost anything. At its most basic, a motion is a request for an order. Whether an extensive, detailed, voluminous motion for summary judgment or a paragraph-long...

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Writing An Engagement Agreement: Contingent Fees

Writing An Engagement Agreement: Non-Contingent Fees

Attorneys must meet all statutory requirements and rules of ethics when drafting attorney-client fee agreements. if an attorney fails to comply with any provision of the California statutes applicable to such agreements, the fee agreement becomes voidable at the client’s option and the attorney is only entitled to a reasonable fee. A fee agreement, including all attachments, is confidential and legally privileged. Typically, attorneys provide those legal services reasonably required to represent clients. They should take reasonable steps to keep clients informed of the progress of their matters, and to reasonably respond to their inquiries. If any court action is filed,...

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Writing An Engagement Agreement: Non-Contingent Fees

Writing An Engagement Agreement: Non-Contingent Fees

Attorney-client engagement agreements, the contract describing and governing the relationship whereby an attorney provides legal services to a client, should always be in writing. Attorneys in California are encouraged to draft their own agreements or modify existing samples provided their iterations do not conflict with California Business and Professions Code §§ 6146 et seq. or the Rules of Professional Conduct. Per the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, MR 1.5(b). fee arrangements should be communicated in writing unless the attorney regularly represents the particular client. The exception is court-appointed cases, where court rules and statutes will define the scope of the attorney’s...

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