Fee disputes and lawyers’ handling of fees consistently account for many issues between lawyers and clients and complaints against lawyers by state discipline authorities. Most of these problems and complaints can be avoided or mitigated through more careful drafting of fee agreements, better client communications, and a better understanding of the rules of professional conduct applicable to the handling of clients’ funds and property.
This webinar will explain how the fee agreement can be drafted to avoid common problems but to establish clear, fair terms of the representation and set the tone for a successful attorney-client relationship, proper billing and timekeeping procedures, and handling trust account funds.
- Ethical Fees and Fee Agreements
- Ethical Billing Practices
- Types of Fees
- Ethical Billing and Timekeeping
- Bar Rules on Fees and Fee Agreements
- Ethical Fees, Billing and Timekeeping
- Disbursing Trust Funds and Handling Fee Disputes
- Tips for Resolving Fee Disputes
- What are ethical fees and fee arrangements?
- What billing and timekeeping procedures are ethical?
- When a client gives an attorney money at the beginning of a representation, whose money is it, and where should the attorney deposit it?
- Can an attorney ethically charge a non-refundable fee?
- What types of fees are permissible in a representation?
- May an attorney ethically charge a results-obtained fee at the conclusion of a successful representation?
- What costs may an attorney ethically charge in addition to an hourly rate?
- Under what circumstances may an attorney withdraw from a representation when the client fails to pay as required by the terms of the fee agreement?
- What are the requirements for handling and disbursing trust funds?
- What is an IOTA (or IOLTA) Trust Account?
- What are nominal or short-term trust funds?
- How should the lawyer handle disputes over trust fund disbursements?