Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Part II of the Breaking Series: 50 Ways to Leave Your Lawyer
while the matters are not being adequately handled would be shortsighted at best.
Litigation files may have what is called a charging lien on them. A charging lien is a type of attorney's lien under which an attorney can eventually claim a portion of any money paid to the client as a result of a judgment, settlement or verdict for unpaid legal fees and costs owed to that prior attorney. It is essential to advise subsequent counsel of any fee arrangements, particularly contingent fee arrangements, made with prior counsel as those arrangements could impact strategic decisions with regard to your pending legal matters as well as limit your new counsel's options. Lastly, you may be surprised and very disappointed to learn that prior counsel did not handle things as efficiently or properly as possible, resulting in damages to your association and a potential malpractice claim against former counsel. It is then up to your board to decide whether or not you wish to spend time and resources pursuing a claim to make you whole.
As with other transitions, the best lawyers understand that the end of a client relationship is not always permanent and that a gracious and professional departure is in the best interests of all parties.