December 13, 2016 Articles

Disengagement Letter Essential to Dismissal of Legal Malpractice Case

Disengagement letters should be part of an attorney’s standard operating procedure.

By Carey L. Menasco and Tyler D. Trew

A letter to a recently retained client terminating a representation, also known as a disengagement letter, can result in the dismissal of a legal malpractice case at the earliest stages, as opposed to prolonged litigation that ultimately results in a judgment or a costly settlement. When disengaging from the representation of an existing client, an attorney should notify the client by email or by certified mail, return receipt requested, that the attorney has terminated the attorney-client representation and therefore owes no further duty to the former client. The attorney may have an obligation to advise the nonclient of impending statute of limitations periods.

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