If money is paid to a lawyer to take a case, does the lawyer have to the right to take action without a contract being signed by the lawyer and client?

Asked on October 18, 2011 under Accident Law, Alabama


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you pay an attorney a rentention to represent you, the attorney in all states in this country is obligated to have a written fee agreement signed and dated by you and him or her (unless the amount of total work to be done is less than one thousand dollars).

The above requirement is a typical requirement by the state bar of all states.

If there is no agreement signed between the lawyer and the client, under certain circumstamces the lawyer may actually file a lawsuit to prevent the bar of the statute of limitations against the client's claims if the attorney has orally agreed to represent the client. Such circumstances are quite unusual and if there was a lawsuit filed without a written fee agreement signed by the client, most attorneys get the client to sign one shortly afterwards.

Good question.

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