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Showing 4 posts from April 2016.

ABA Clarifies Referral fees Between Lawyers in Formal Ethics Opinion 474

On April 21, 2016, the American Bar Association ("ABA") Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility released Formal Opinion 474, addressing referral fees under Model Rule 1.5(e) and the impact of conflicts of interest under Model Rule 1.7. The opinion makes clear that pursuant to Model Rule 1.5(e)(1) a lawyer may only receive a fee from referring a case to another lawyer not in the same firm if the referring attorney performs legal services for the client on that referred matter or assumes joint responsibility for the representation. Rule 1.5(e)(2-3) further mandates that the client must agree to such fee arrangement in writing, including the share each lawyer will receive, and that the total fee must be reasonable. More ›

Statutory Elimination of the Real Estate Broker's Fiduciary Duty

Will the California Supreme Court’s anticipated decision in Hiroshiike v. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Company, significantly impact real estate agency law and the fiduciary duty of real estate agents? 25 states have statutorily eliminated a real estate broker’s ability to serve as a dual agent. While California will not likely follow statutorily, the state’s high court may soon make substantive developments in this area by judicial decision. More ›

Professional Responsibility Abroad: Your Rules Follow You

A California litigation attorney recently asked me if he could represent his American friend living in France. French law can be divided into two main categories, droit privé (private law) and droit public (public law). The matter involved a private contractual dispute with a French corporation. The attorney was not concerned about whether he would be in violation of French law by representing his friend without having the requisite qualifications to practice law in France, but rather he was inquiring as to whether he would be in violation of California law by representing a friend living in a foreign jurisdiction. Both the California Rules of Professional Conduct and the American Bar Association Model Rules provide guidance on this issue. However, this article will focus on the American Bar Association Model Rules. More ›

Settle and Pay? The California Supreme Court says, “Yes.”

A plaintiff who voluntarily dismisses a lawsuit after entering into a monetary settlement may be a “prevailing party” entitled to costs and fees under California law. More ›