September 01, 2011

Ethics: The Perils of Sloppy Engagement Agreements

Bruce A. Green

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“The adage that ‘a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client’ is the product of years of experience by seasoned litigators.” So said the Supreme Court in Kay v. Ehrler, 499 U.S. 432, 437–38 (1991), and few would disagree.

And yet, there is one context in which seasoned litigators represent themselves over and over again. That is in establishing the terms under which they will represent their clients. Lawyers routinely negotiate and draft their own engagement agreements.

 

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