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LEGAL SERVICES AGREEMENT
This agreement, executed in duplicate with each party receiving an executed original, is made between __________________ (Attorney) and ___________________, (Client).
The legal services to be provided by Attorney to Client are as follows: Representation of Client with respect to __________________________________ arising out of the __________________ which occurred on the ____ day of ____________, 20__.
Legal services that are not to be provided by Attorney under this agreement specifically include, but are not limited to, the following: Representation with respect to (a) any claim for property damage arising out of the accident, (b) any dispute with a medical care provider about amounts owed by Client for services received, or (c) any appeal in which Client is an appellant from a court judgment on Client's personal injury claim (i.e., Attorney's obligation to represent Client under this agreement extends to an appeal only if Client is a respondent).
A separate written agreement between Attorney and Client will be required, if Client desires that Attorney provide any other legal services not specifically provided under this agreement.
Attorney will perform the legal services called for under this agreement, keep Client informed of progress and developments, and respond promptly to Client's inquiries and communications. Client will be truthful and cooperative with Attorney and keep Attorney reasonably informed of developments and of Client's address, telephone number, and whereabouts.
The amount Attorney will receive for attorney's fees for the legal services to be provided under this agreement will be:
______ percent ( %) of the net recovery if the recovery is obtained before the filing of a lawsuit;
______ percent ( %) of the net recovery if the recovery is obtained after the filing of a lawsuit but before the arbitration hearing, settlement conference, or trial, whichever occurs first;
______ percent ( %) of the net recovery if the recovery is obtained at or after the arbitration hearing, settlement conference, or trial, whichever occurs first, but before the filing of Client's brief in an appeal from a court judgment; and
______ percent ( %) of the net recovery if the recovery is obtained after the filing of Client's brief in an appeal from a court judgment.
"Net recovery" means the amount remaining after the total amount received (whether by settlement, arbitration award, or court judgment) has been reduced by the sum of all "costs," as defined in this agreement.
If payment of all or any part of the amount to be received will be deferred (such as in the case of an annuity, a structured settlement, or periodic payments), the "total amount received," for purposes of calculating the attorney's fees, will be the initial lump-sum payment plus the present value, as of the time of the settlement, final arbitration award, or final judgment, of the payments to be received thereafter. The attorney's fees will be paid out of the initial lump-sum payment. If the payment is insufficient to pay the attorney's fees in full, the balance will be paid from subsequent payments of the recovery before any distribution to Client.
Client understands that this Attorney's fee is not set by law but rather is negotiable between the Attorney and the Client.
If there is no net recovery, Attorney will receive no attorney's fees.
Attorney will divide the attorney's fees received for the legal services provided under this agreement with _________________________. The terms of the division are as follows: Attorney will pay to _________________________ one third of all attorney's fees received. Client hereby expressly consents to the division.
Attorney will advance all "costs" in connection with Attorney's representation of Client under this agreement. Attorney will be reimbursed out of the recovery before any distribution of fees to Attorney or any distribution to Client. If there is no recovery, or the recovery is insufficient to reimburse Attorney in full for costs advanced, Attorney will bear the loss. Costs include, but are not limited to, court filing fees, deposition costs, expert fees and expenses, investigation costs, long-distance telephone charges, messenger service fees, photocopying expenses, and process server fees. Items that are not to be considered costs, and that must be paid by Client without being either advanced or contributed to by Attorney, include, but are not limited to, Client's medical expenses and other parties' costs, if any, that Client is ultimately required to pay.
Client is informed that the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of California require the Client's informed written consent before an Attorney may begin or continue to represent the Client when the attorney has or had a relationship with another party interested in the subject matter of the Attorney's proposed representation of the client. Attorney is not aware of any relationship with any other party interested in the subject matter of Attorney's services for Client under this agreement. As long as Attorney's services for Client continue under this agreement, Attorney will not agree to provide legal services for any such party without Client's prior written consent.
Attorney will not settle Client's claim without the approval of Client, who will have the absolute right to accept or reject any settlement. Attorney will notify Client promptly of the terms of any settlement offer received by Attorney.
Attorney will have a lien for Attorney's fees and costs advanced on all claims and causes of action that are the subject of this representation of Client under this agreement and on all proceeds of any recovery obtained (whether by settlement, arbitration award, or court judgment).
Client may discharge Attorney at any time by written notice effective when received by Attorney. Unless specifically agreed by Attorney and Client, Attorney will provide no further services and advance no further costs on Client's behalf after receipt of the notice. If Attorney is Client's attorney of record in any proceeding, Client will execute and return a substitution-of-attorney form immediately on its receipt from Attorney. Notwithstanding the discharge, Client will be obligated to pay Attorney out of the recovery a reasonable attorney's fee for all services provided and to reimburse Attorney out of the recovery for all costs advanced. If there is no recovery, or the recovery is insufficient to reimburse Attorney in full for costs advanced, Attorney will bear the loss.
Attorney may withdraw at any time as permitted under the Rules of Professional Conduct of the State Bar of ___________________. The circumstances under which the Rules permit such withdrawal include, but are not limited to, the following: (a) The client consents, and (b) the client's conduct renders it unreasonably difficult for the attorney to carry out the employment effectively. Notwithstanding Attorney's withdrawal, Client will be obligated to pay Attorney out of the recovery a reasonable attorney's fee for all services provided, and to reimburse Attorney out of the recovery for all costs advanced, before the withdrawal. If there is no recovery, or the recovery is insufficient to reimburse Attorney in full for costs advanced, Attorney will bear the loss.
At the termination of services under this agreement, Attorney will release promptly to Client on request all of Client's papers and property. "Client's papers and property" include correspondence, deposition transcripts, exhibits, experts' reports, legal documents, physical evidence, and other items reasonably necessary to Client's representation, whether Client has paid for them or not.
Although Attorney may offer an opinion about possible results regarding the subject matter of this agreement, Attorney cannot guarantee any particular result. Client acknowledges that Attorney has made no promises about the outcome and that any opinion offered by Attorney in the future will not constitute a guaranty.
This agreement contains the entire agreement of the parties. No other agreement, statement, or promise made on or before the effective date of this agreement will be binding on the parties.
If any provision of this agreement is held in whole or in part to be unenforceable for any reason, the remainder the agreement will be severable and remain in effect.
This agreement may be modified by subsequent agreement of the parties only by an instrument in writing signed by both of them.
The prevailing party in any action or proceeding to enforce any provision of this agreement will be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and costs incurred in that action or proceeding or in efforts to negotiate the matter.
This agreement will be effective when, Attorney receives one executed copy of this agreement from Client, , provided the copy is received on or before the ____ day of ____________, 20__.
These forms are provided AS IS. They may not be any good. Even if they are good in one jurisdiction, they may not work in another. And the facts of your situation may make these forms inappropriate for you. They are for informational purposes only, and you should consult an attorney before using them.