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Client Relations

R I S K M A N AG E M E N T H A N DOUT S OF
LAW YERS MUTUAL

LAWYERS LIABILITY INSURANCE
COMPANY OF
5020 Weston Parkway, Suite 200, Cary, North Carolina 27513
Post Office Box 1929, Cary, North Carolina 27512-1929
MUTUAL NORTH CAROLINA 919.677.8900 800.662.8843 919.677.9641 FAX www.lawyersmutualnc.com

Client Relations
R I S K M A N AG E M E N T H A N DOUT S OF LAW YERS MUTUAL

TABLE OF CONTENTS

14 Timely Tips 1

Confidentiality Forms 10

30 Training Topics 11

Sample Telephone Policy for Clients 12

Sample Attorneys Covenants 13

Client Fees and Billing 14

Rule 1.5 - Fees 16

Declaration to Clients 17

ABA Model Declaration 18

Client Surveys 19

DISCLAIMER: This document is written for general information only. It presents some considerations that might be helpful in your practice. It
is not intended as legal advice or opinion. It is not intended to establish a standard of care for the practice of law. There is no guarantee that following
these guidelines will eliminate mistakes. Law offices have different needs and requirements. Individual cases demand individual treatment. Due diligence,
reasonableness and discretion are always necessary. Sound risk management is encouraged in all aspects of practice.

updated December 2009

important thing you can do to ensure success as a call the State Bar ethics hotline. anxiety and lost billable • Help your paralegals become certified through hours for the responding lawyer. ongoing cases that —1— . over 1000 of these problems turn into Handbook. • Attend the quarterly Bar council meetings and ethics committee meetings. They No lawyer likes to deal with unpleasant cases are published in the State Bar Journal. At each councilor yourself. The tendency is to focus on challenging and on the State Bar website at www. counsel. but fellow attorneys and More information is available at: third parties also file complaints. The handbook includes a directory of grievances filed with the State Bar. PO Box 25908. meeting. the State Bar for more information. Let’s say you receive a letter from the State Bar • Understand the rules on lawyer advertising. matters for clients we like and hope the others • Follow the handbook. especially if an item 1. Ethics counsel lawyer is to keep your clients happy. • Train your staff on ethics. not responding to the Bar letter is itself an wish to become certified in your practice area. If you In fact. of license. you will not be disciplined even if the Following are 14 tips on client relations. Once a month. the notice? • Take advantage of State Bar Lawyers Assistance Never ignore correspondence from the State Bar. Happy clients pay will provide confidential advice that you can rely their bills and refer other business your way. State Bar later issues a contradictory opinion.” All brought aggravation. • Know the rules on lawyer specialization. Can you therefore ignore results in over 20 opinions on the topic. Lawyers in Rendering Legal Services. Every lawyer receives a disappear. Practice what you Practice Tips preach. 208 Fayetteville Street luncheon in its conference room. the firm holds a staff State Bar. that a grievance has been filed against you. Unhappy on. North Carolina great idea. Then the director is Alice Neece Mine. from receptionist to senior partner. Everybody Mall. A firm in Rocky Mount came up with a • Put the State Bar on your rolodex. You know solicitation and marketing.org.com.nccertifiedparalegal. Lawyers Weekly and people. the firm discusses a specific ethical • Know your State Bar staff. Or become a Lunch is ordered in from a nearby deli. Most are dismissed Bar services. Current or former the State Bar Plan for Certification of Paralegals. client confidentiality. • Know your State Bar councilor. The most guidance on how to respond to a sticky situation. Programs (LAP): PALS or FRIENDS.ncbar. • Keep current on proposed ethics opinions. is Tom Lunsford and the assistant executive The rule itself is read and discussed. an average of 20 result in suspension and • Read the Bar’s “Guidelines for Use of Non- over 200 lead to some other form of discipline. Some result in disbarment or surrender and Trust Account Guidelines. 919/828-4620. obligation to respond and assist in the investigation. But problems don’t just fade away. The executive director principle — for example. attends. call ethical violation. the Rules of Professional Conduct as frivolous. A keyword search the claim is frivolous and you’re sure the State Bar will of State Bar ethics opinions using “advertising” agree when it investigates. These Even if you feel a grievance is frivolous. If you follow the advice of the State Bar clients file Bar grievances and malpractice claims. you have an programs exist to benefit you and your clients. clients bring most grievances. www. If you need rule is applied to actual. R I S K M A N AG E M E N T H A N D O UT S O F L AW Y E R S M UT U A L 14 TIMELY TIPS Good client relations is good business. Raleigh NC 27611. copy of the North Carolina State Bar Lawyer’s Each year. BELLY UP TO THE BAR affecting your practice is on the agenda.

JUST SAY NO when they begin employment. Retainers management. i. The been filed and conflicts of interest have been discussion is not limited to what the rule says. The importance of shielding client e.16 explains how a lawyer should decline or terminate representation: • Withdrawal for nonpayment of fee. The lawyer(s) with primary responsibility (a) Except as stated in paragraph (c). client/new matter information to all lawyers and the Rules require that a lawyer discontinue staff in the firm. c. Documentation that time control notices have secrets and confidences might be stressed. • Have all staff members sign confidentiality forms 3. a lawyer may b. that withdrawal may occur if the fee is not paid. Client name (including all surnames previ. The screening process should include the client papers and property upon withdrawal following steps: includes returning unearned fees advanced by the • Check the firm’s conflict of interest database. Information should include: representation of the client. A engagement letter was sent to the client. Under certain review by a screening committee.C L I E N T R E L AT I O N S the firm is handling. Description of the matter —2— . Many firms utilize New Business Committees for this The rule also states that a lawyer’s duty to return purpose. A divorce case might be d. where representation • Use an initial interview form or new client memo has commenced. once approved. or lawyer impairment. Documentation of by whom and when the Potential ethical traps are exposed and avoided. client. by the law firm.16(b)(6) requires Use the smell test to screen new business to the lawyer to give reasonable warning to the client determine whether it is appropriate for the practice. such as a representation that • Discuss the form with the screening committee violates the Rules of Professional Conduct and. (Send a team approach to ethics is encouraged. or a.16. Fees and special fee arrangements to real-life cases. Billing arrangements abstract principles of ethics with actual problems. Statute of limitation and important deadlines reviewed. a. Lawyers may 2. circumstances. This firm is practicing good risk g. Rule 1. Their monthly lunch sessions merge h. • Prepare a new client/new matter intake form for • Mandatory withdrawal. Adversaries and other parties involved in the RULE 1. The materially impairs the lawyer’s ability to form should include: represent the client. The new client or new matter b. (3) the lawyer is discharged. But 1. Adverse/related parties withdraw from representing a client if: c. a lawyer shall d.) comes away with a clearer understanding of ethics and a greater appreciation of why the rules exist. conflict of interest). The nature of the new work not represent a client or. CHOOSE YOUR CLIENTS withdraw from representation of clients who fail to fulfill fee agreements. to organize the information for use law or the Rules of Professional Conduct. shall withdraw from the for each new client or matter. DECLINING OR TERMINATING new business REPRESENTATION. promptly report the new (e. The staff copy of the completed form to the client. This form has three representation of a client if: purposes: to solicit essential information about (1) the representation will result in violation of the client. It checked also covers why the rule exists and how it applies f.g. ously used) and address (b) Except as stated in paragraph (c). and to ensure that malpractice (2) the lawyer’s physical or mental condition prevention systems have been set in motion. Sample forms are available on page 10.

allowing time for employment of other counsel. to prevent the commission of a law and cannot be supported by good faith crime by a client. a lawyer shall (such as a malpractice suit or grievance). Warn support staff about conversations (7) the representation will result in an around the water cooler or in the lobby. A lawyer may also (c) A lawyer must comply with applicable law reveal confidential information to secure legal advice requiring notice to or permission of a tribunal about compliance with the Rules or to establish a when terminating a representation. the lawyer’s services were used. or to prevent reasonably certain argument for an extension. the lawyer must involving the lawyer’s services that the lawyer not reveal information acquired during the representation.” or contrary to the advice and judgment of Discussing specific cases with family and friends is the lawyer. the payment of fee or expense that has not been disclosure is impliedly authorized in order to earned or incurred. The lawyer may retain papers carry out the representation or the disclosure is relating to the client to the extent permitted by permitted by paragraph (b). Keep case files the obligation is fulfilled. or lives. According to Comment 2: “A termination of the representation. When claim or defense in a controversy with the client ordered to do so by a tribunal. INFORMATION. or another subject besides the law. . Instead of blowing off steam about your clients (5) the client has used the lawyer’s services to to your spouse or neighbor. and refunding any advance unless the client gives informed consent.6. or fundamental principle in the client-lawyer relationship is that (3) the client persists in a course of action in the absence of the client’s informed consent. (a) A lawyer shall not reveal information acquired surrendering papers and property to which the during the professional relationship with a client client is entitled. . Separate your personal and professional fundamental disagreement. the client. Rule 1. or with which the lawyer has a prohibited. shall take steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a client’s interests. R I S K M A N AG E M E N T H A N D O UT S O F L AW Y E R S M UT U A L (1) withdrawal can be accomplished without 4. disclosure should be limited to that which is necessary (d) Upon termination of representation. embarrassing or legally damaging subject matter. unreasonable financial burden on the lawyer Revised Rule 1. or death or bodily harm. —3— . A lawyer may also reveal reversal of existing law. MUM’S THE WORD material adverse effect on the interests of the client or. other law. However. . The client is thereby encouraged to seek legal assistance (4) the client insists upon taking an action that and communicate fully and frankly with the lawyer even as to the lawyer considers repugnant. CONFIDENTIALITY OF such as giving reasonable notice to the client. or A lawyer may disclose confidential information to (8) the client insists upon presenting a claim or comply with the Rules of Professional Conduct or defense that is not warranted under existing with a court order. (6) the client fails substantially to fulfill an Confidentiality is especially important for lawyers obligation to the lawyer regarding the lawyer’s in space-sharing arrangements. go for a jog or talk about perpetrate a crime or fraud. continue representation notwithstanding good even when disclosure is allowed under the rules. reasonably believes is criminal or fraudulent. such cause for terminating the representation.6 says a lawyer should preserve the confidences (2) the client knowingly and freely assents to the of the client. modification. or separate. Make sure client services and has been given reasonable information does not leak out of your office into warning that the lawyer will withdraw unless common areas or other suites. RULE 1.6 includes seven exceptions under or has been rendered unreasonably difficult by which a lawyer may disclose confidential information. a lawyer to accomplish the specific purpose. imprudent. or confidential information to prevent a crime in which (9) other good cause for withdrawal exists.

2d 355 convicted of some type of criminal misconduct (1985) the court outlined the burden of proof for proscribed by the rules. provide a structure for regulating conduct through (6) to establish a claim or defense on behalf disciplinary agencies. “client” refers to lawyers seeking practice of law and contracts to prosecute an action assistance from lawyers’ or judges’ assistance in behalf of his client. UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN the litigation entrusted to him. or for sanctioning a in any proceeding concerning the lawyer’s lawyer under the administration of a disciplinary representation of the client. or rectify the [7] Violation of a Rule should not give rise consequences of a client’s criminal or itself to a cause of action against a lawyer. For example. when an attorney engages in the of this Rule. unethical conduct is also malpractice. or to respond to allegations a lawyer’s self-assessment. skill and or the North Carolina Supreme Court. (2) he will exert his best judgment in the prosecution of 5. involve an ethical violation.C. his client’s cause. acting as an agent of a lawyers’ or judges’ assistance program approved by the North Carolina State Bar Hodges v. that a legal duty has been breached . (1) to comply with the Rules of Professional By the same token. Furthermore. 80 S. 338. ability necessary to the practice of his profession and which others similarly suited ordinarily possess. standards of conduct by lawyers. mitigate. Cooke. the lawyer and the client.2d 144 or the North Carolina Supreme Court regarding (1954) is the leading North Carolina Supreme Court another lawyer or judge seeking assistance or to case establishing an attorney’s standard of care: whom assistance is being offered. SCOPE.2. The rules (5) to secure legal advice about the lawyer’s are designed to provide guidance to lawyers and to compliance with these Rules. 239 N. . not unethical behavior. neglect. (4) to prevent.” but not always. .E. RULE 0. 517. a missed (2) to prevent the commission of a crime by the statute of limitation may be the result of simple client. since the Rules do establish Carolina Supreme Court. For example. 519.C. yet there has been no direct attorney negligence: —4— . a lawyer might be In Rorrer v. to establish a defense purpose of the rules can be subverted when they to a criminal charge or civil claim against the are invoked by opposing parties as procedural lawyer based upon conduct in which the client weapons. nor fraudulent act in the commission of which the should it create any presumption in such a case lawyer’s services were used. Carter. The fact that a Rule is a just basis for was involved. a violation of from disclosure by paragraph (a) to the extent the the rules on lawyer advertising might not give rise to a lawyer reasonably believes necessary: malpractice claim. (3) to prevent reasonably certain death or bodily harm. or authority. 313 N. and (3) he will exercise UNETHICAL CONDUCT AND MALPRACTICE reasonable and ordinary care and diligence in the use of his skill and in the application of his knowledge to Sometimes.E.C L I E N T R E L AT I O N S (b) A lawyer may reveal information protected damage to clients or cases. For the purposes “Ordinarily. Likewise. malpractice does not always Conduct. They are not designed to of the lawyer in a controversy between the be a basis for civil liability. the North Carolina State Bar or the North Nevertheless. 329 S. does not imply that an antagonist in a (7) to comply with the rules of a lawyers’ or collateral proceeding or transaction has standing judges’ assistance program approved by to seek enforcement of the Rule. the law or court order. a lawyer’s (c) The duty of confidentiality described in this Rule violation of a Rule may be evidence of breach of encompasses information received by a lawyer then the applicable standard of conduct. he impliedly represents that (1) programs approved by the North Carolina State Bar he possesses the requisite degree of learning.

monitor progress. format of assignment. Clarify expectations and another lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to anticipate needs. answer any questions and carefully review • Provide timely and specific feedback to your the work product before signing off on it. An associates following review of their work product. and a lawyer who judgment would have been collectible. COACH YOUR TEAM take reasonable remedial action to avoid the consequences. estimated length of time After you have delegated a project. and grammatical errors.1. —5— .” individually or together with other lawyers possesses comparable managerial authority. and that this first years of practice. AND SUPERVISORY LAWYERS. The Rules of Professional Conduct require staff supervision.. the client’s problem. Rorrer also addressed the issue of proximate But don’t forget that ultimate responsibility rests cause. your associate should bill for project. ensure that the other lawyer conforms to the Carefully proofread documents for typos.. To prove that the defendant-lawyer had acted with you. supervisory authority over the other lawyer and knows of the conduct at a time when its consequences can be avoided. (c) A lawyer shall be responsible for another lawyer’s Be fully informed about the firm. This means you must direct and inspect Practice Tips the work of others. ratifies the conduct involved. Hold all client violation of the Rules of Professional conduct if: matters in confidence. You must continue to on project such as incurring expenses for use of communicate. Notify the mailroom about a (b) A lawyer having direct supervisory authority over big mailing. Let others in the firm know or the organization conform to the Rules of if you have a substantial project in the works that Professional Conduct. Dress and act professionally. Every firm has at least one negligence (2) proximately caused (3) damage to the staff member who knows the inside scoop on almost plaintiff. see that deadlines computer research or paralegal time. have resulted in a judgment in his favor. and (3) the (a) A partner in a law firm. as set forth by Hodges . concerning assignment .give specific information Ask your assistants to explain the projects they are about deadlines. or with knowledge of the desk or talk about firm matters with your friends. are met. any limitations responsibility does not end. RESPONSIBILITIES OF PARTNERS. Make sure you are all working on the assignment fits into the big picture of resolving same page. (2) the lawyer is a partner or has comparable Stay calm and professional when talking with managerial authority in the law firm in which difficult or angry clients. specific conduct. spelling Rules of Professional Conduct. the plaintiff must show: RULE 5.” everything. or has direct continue to offer to help. for instance. contact the State Bar or ask another attorney. review the • Provide effective communication to associates rules. Don’t leave documents on your (1) the lawyer orders. projects can be delegated to support staff. If you are unsure what tasks or • Delegate appropriate work to associates. PRACTICE AS A TEAM or the organization has in effect measures giving reasonable assurance that all lawyers in the firm Be a team player. could impact them. but fails to 7. negligently in handling a litigation matter. shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the firm 6. how the working on. “(1) The original claim was valid. Do not pass the blame and the other lawyer practices. R I S K M A N AG E M E N T H A N D O UT S O F L AW Y E R S M UT U A L “(1) That the attorney breached the duties owed experienced staff can be a great resource during your to his client. Keep your work area or clean and neat. Tap this information base. (2) it would MANAGERS.

with the knowledge • Be professional. faxes and mail. action to avoid the consequences. • Allocate responsibility for staff supervision to • Spend the necessary time reviewing relevant one person in the office. RESPONSIBILITIES OF A firm or organization has in effect measures giving SUBORDINATE LAWYER reasonable assurance that the nonlawyer’s conduct (a) A lawyer is bound by the Rules of Professional is compatible with the professional obligations of Conduct notwithstanding that the lawyer acted at the lawyer. Rules of Professional Conduct if engaged in by a • Meet all deadlines assigned by partners. • Communicate with your staff concerning but rather to ensure the work is proceeding on deadlines and schedules. Volunteer for social projects or has direct supervisory authority over the or administrative projects such as selecting new nonlawyer. bad attitudes or unwillingness to work as a team. billed to the client. Associates (a) a partner. even (or especially) when receiving of the specific conduct. associates don’t know what they RULE 5.their successes as well as failures. • When receiving assignments.3. NONLAWYER ASSISTANTS • Keep associates informed on the final resolution With respect to a non-lawyer employed or of cases they were involved in and how their work retained by or associated with a lawyer: product was involved in that resolution. portions of the file before embarking on the • Develop written procedures for staff concerning assignment. answering client questions without • Make status reports to partner showing work giving legal advice or committing the unauthorized product so partner can make corrections or practice of law. or • Learn from the more experienced lawyers in your (2) the lawyer is a partner or has comparable firm . use memo or form back to partner to confirm the parameters of the Practice Tips assignment. RESPONSIBILITIES REGARDING need to correct or improve or what they do well. lawyer if: • Always do quality work.2. organization in which the person is employed. and (c) a lawyer shall be responsible for conduct of such Practice Tips a nonlawyer that would be a violation of the • Ask questions. managerial authority in the law firm or • Find a mentor if one doesn’t find you. handling emergency situations suggestions to keep the project on the correct when the lawyer is unavailable.C L I E N T R E L AT I O N S Without feedback. • Be a leader early on. shouldn’t be to micro-manage the associates work. (b) a lawyer having direct supervisory authority over (b) A subordinate lawyer does not violate the Rules of a nonlawyer shall make reasonable efforts to Professional Conduct if that lawyer acts in accordance ensure that the nonlawyer’s conduct is compatible with a supervisory lawyer’s reasonable resolution of with the professional obligations of the lawyer. the direction of another person. an arguable question of professional duty. but fails to take reasonable remedial • Pick up tips and advice from senior support staff. schedule and the final product will be helpful in • Don’t ignore problem situations with staff such as resolving the client’s legal problem. track. managerial authority in a law firm or organization shall make reasonable efforts to ensure that the RULE 5. and knows of the conduct at a computers in order to gain visibility and get to time when its consequences can be avoided or know the people in your firm. and a lawyer who individually or will then have a sense of accomplishment that together with other lawyers possesses comparable should help keep them motivated. even if all of the time cannot be confidentiality. involved. —6— . distribution of telephone messages. The purpose of this review by the partner • Train your staff in ethics. (1) the lawyer orders or. ratifies the conduct “constructive criticism” from a firm partner. mitigated.

as well client has diminished capacity. • Encourage communication through regular firm meetings. substantial physical.The National Association unless action is taken and cannot adequately act of Legal Assistants has a 20 year old voluntary in the client’s own interest. —7— . • Review the work product provided by the paralegal. financial or other harm • Voluntary certification . the lawyer may take certification program known as the Certified reasonably necessary protective action. RECOGNIZE CLIENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS • Encourage teamwork. civil litigation. or for some the time off to attend CLE programs. the lawyer shall. whether because subscriptions. (a) When a client’s capacity to make adequately • Encourage professionalism by paying membership considered decisions in connection with a dues in professional associations. 8. a client with diminished capacity is protected • Continuing Legal Education . but only to the extent reasonably • Check references. seeking the appointment of a estate.6. R I S K M A N AG E M E N T H A N D O UT S O F L AW Y E R S M UT U A L The resulting morale problems will ultimately • After the paralegal performs the work is there affect everyone in the office and will impact on a final conference or opportunity to discuss the services offered to clients. necessary to protect the client’s interests. ADVICE ON GIVING ADVICE professional associations.6(a) to reveal information in the substantive area they have been hired. is at risk of as post baccalaureate degree certificate programs.nccertifiedparalegal. mental impairment. problems or concerns? • Offer competitive salaries and benefits. • Recognize that your client does not have to follow lance paralegal outlining the specific duties to be your advice? performed. as far as reasonably • Education .There are many by Rule 1. networking. other reason. workshops. Consider these questions when analyzing your newsletters or publications? advice-giving skills. intellectual properties and real in appropriate cases. Information on the State Bar Plan for the guardian ad litem or guardian. Certification of Paralegals is available at: (c) Information relating to the representation of www. pursuant to paragraph (b). paying for CLE as well as providing of minority. RULE 1. the lawyer is impliedly Ask the paralegal to identify educational opportunities authorized under Rule 1. • Give praise when deserved. maintain a normal client-lawyer paralegal schools. about the client. • Tailor your advice to your client’s style and • Review the paralegal’s written procedures for personality? performing the requested tasks. • Encourage creativity. CLIENT WITH DIMINISHED • Eliminate blame. (b) When the lawyer reasonably believes that the including 2 year associate degree programs.14. • Does the free-lance paralegal have E & O coverage? • Is the free-lance paralegal service incorporated? • Does the free-lance paralegal belong to 9.ABA has an approval process for possible. magazine representation is diminished. Several colleges in North relationship with the client. • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the • Discuss fully the extent of the work you want done issues involved? and the time period for completing the project. which provide opportunities for CLE. CAPACITY • Treat staff as valued members of the legal team. When taking protective action opportunities for paralegals to participate in CLE. including Legal Assistant exam (CLA) with Specialty exams consulting with individuals or entities that have (CLAS) in many areas of practice including the ability to take action to protect the client and.org. Carolina offer ABA approved paralegal programs. Do you: • Sign a Contract or Fee Agreement with a free.

be destroyed at any time. states in part: Include the date of the interview and why the • The original file belongs to the client. a closed file must be retained • Maintain a file of non-engagement letters. WRITE ON or return receipt requested. as well as legal advice? either by a file memorandum or a confirmation • Suggest common sense options to resolve your letter to the client. Put for a minimum of six years after the conclusion client names in your conflicts system. KEEP CLIENT FILES AT LEAST SIX YEARS and the potential time frame involved. Advise the individual that the case may where client confidentiality will be maintained. which might have been overlooked otherwise. be affected by a statute of limitation. weighing the accepting or rejecting any offers. • Offer moral or ethical advice. so that you later have proof that the client actually received it. If necessary. Express no • With the consent of the client. to be in his or her best interest. The applicable statute should refer to these files as changes in the law of limitation may necessitate the retention of a affect these matters. and and your judgment by asking for your advice? actions taken. • Advise the individual to seek other representation. • Absent consent. Send a copy of this written documentation to the client by express mail 10. • Affirm the purposes for which the firm was hired • Use file-closing letters at the end of the and provide information on reporting procedures. discussion and action taken (including the fact that the client refused your advice). is seeking? • Don’t continue hearings or trials without the • Use plain language when communicating with client’s agreement. closed file for more than six years. necessary communication. Confirm the client’s • List a primary contact person within the firm.C L I E N T R E L AT I O N S • Remember that your client is showing trust in you • Document all discussions. if • The lawyer must store files in a secure location possible. Document client files as follows: • Review client files periodically. January 1991. client’s problems? • Ensure that all legal assistants document all • Rethink your legal conclusion when it’s challenged personal and telephone conferences with the by a client? client in the manner described above. • Provide a realistic outline of the steps to be taken 11. document the ALI-ABA’s The Practical Lawyer. which the firm cannot or does not wish to handle. Such reviews may • Use engagement letters to confirm the scope of trigger some additional. the representation. Sogg. your client? • If the client refuses a course of action you believe Reprinted with permission of ABA and Wilton S. receipt of the letter. additional counsel elsewhere. Obtain the factors and giving recommendations? client’s consent before making any settlement • Try to understand what kind of advice the client offers to the other side. • Do you involve the client in the decision-making • Inform the client of all settlement offers and process? obtain the client’s informed consent before • Discuss every alternative available. • Separate your advice into components that the • Document all advice given to the client and client can relate to? instructions given to the attorney by the client. a closed file may opinion on the matter. and the firm’s expectations of is ending. The firm of the representation. recommendations. —8— . representation to confirm that the representation billing procedures. firm cannot or will not represent the individual. if possible. • Use non-engagement letters for matters or clients The Revised Rules do not change RPC 209. advise the client to seek the client. • List in writing the areas and items the firm was not hired to accomplish.

clients who want to than listening. and clients who have notified the you can probe deeper and record important details. if after notice to Unreturned phone calls are the number one the client. The source of client complaints at the State Bar. should be turned away at the door. the client fails to retrieve the file. White House of their grievance. If Develop a policy that all client calls are returned the client fails to retrieve the file after notice. JUST SAY THANKS be retained until the client consents to their destruction or retention is no longer required by “It occurred to me that I never really thanked law or necessary to protect the client’s rights. are retrieved by the client or they are deemed Never miss opportunities to thank clients. if not previously appreciation when cases were concluded. I bought • After six years. gestures like that tell clients you view them as people. you from the outset. directs that it be transferred to another lawyer. Durham. the within 24 hours. Practice client should be contacted and advised that the telephone etiquette. the lawyer may destroy the file note cards and began writing a few paragraphs of without client consent. birthday cards or a Gen Statutes. Sometimes a client just wants to be negotiate your fee or won’t pay the retainer. What is the point of the assignment? Exactly what is expected of you? Who will be working with you? —9— . BE A GOOD LISTENER in town. Red flags should go up if the client has already hired and fired several attorneys or has been rejected by every other lawyer 12. The remaining congratulation note for receiving a civic award? Small records in the file may be destroyed. clients who are distrustful of interrupting or taking notes. business picked up. These items should 14.” Solo. • No particular method of destroying files is not merely sources of revenue. useful in the assertion or defense of the client’s position in a matter for which the statute of limitation has not expired. Report any of these Listen to your attorney when you are given a new symptoms to your supervising attorney. Chapter 116B. R I S K M A N AG E M E N T H A N D O UT S O F L AW Y E R S M UT U A L • If six years have not elapsed since a client’s file 13. clients heard. Other warning signs: clients who have unreasonable expectations. Don’t use voice mail and lawyer intends to destroy the file unless the client answering machines to duck client calls. quickly and pleasantly. Don’t forget to thank prescribed. clients who bring a tape anticipating what the other person will say. My repeat reviewed and purged of the client’s possessions. abandoned and escheat to the state under NC How about Christmas cards. assignment. Answer picks up the file or. the file may only be destroyed with the consent of the client or. Offer to help or redirect a call. A word of thanks the lawyer should review the file and retain any never hurts. These should be give you interesting and challenging assignments. When they’ve finished. returned or retained in a secure place until they Thank colleagues who help on cases. clients who wish to Often misunderstandings are the result of proceed on principle alone. Your receptionist should receive lawyer should review the file and retain any items calls with respect and good humor. colleagues for sending referrals. However. Let clients tell their story without commitment to the case. within a reasonable period. • The method of destruction must preserve client Recognize that some clients are bad news and confidentiality. our clients for giving me their business. You can provide a valuable service by affording who insist on a contingent fee to demonstrate your them this courtesy. RETURN PHONE CALLS became inactive. rather recorder to the initial interview. Express your appreciation when lawyers items that belong to the client. Document all that belong to the client or contain information telephone conversations and callback attempts.

or to their clients. files and memoranda are to be treated in strict confidence. I understand that any breach of confidentiality will be grounds for my immediate dismissal as a firm employee. records. activity and records and except as required by law in the course of my duties. some personnel must routinely handle pay and personnel information as a result of their normal duties. 2_____. it is extremely important that everyone exercise extreme care in this area. matters will be considered reason for immediate dismissal. Additionally. I am aware that all firm books. This information must be treated with the utmost sensitivity and confidentiality. or other unauthorized person without the consent of the attorney or his or her administrative secretary or. To avoid any violations of that confidentiality in the attorney’s absence. attorneys keep sensitive material that may be of a confidential nature. In addition to the client matters.C L I E N T R E L AT I O N S CONFIDENTIALITY FORMS CONFIDENTIALITY FORM A It is the policy of __________________ that matters related to the firm and its practice are not to be discussed in the presence of any unauthorized persons. have read and agree to abide by the provisions of the foregoing stated policy as it relates to the confidentiality and the law firm. Name of firm: ______________________________________ This will confirm that I. This the __________ day of _______________________________. the undersigned. the Director of Administration. including pay or personnel. __________________________________________________ Signature __________________________________________________ Witness — 10 — . It is understood that some of the matters in the office are sufficiently interesting to tempt personnel to engage in conversation that may breach the rule of confidentiality. to themselves. its personnel. vendor. Therefore. _____________________________________________________ Signature CONFIDENTIALITY FORM B As an employee of (Law Firm). its business or its clients during my employment or after the termination thereof whether such termination be voluntary or involuntary. This the __________ day of _______________________________. I pledge that I will not disclose information relating to the firm. The information received in the office is the private property of the client and aside from the embarrassment that would result from any unauthorized disclosure. 2_____. A breach of confidentiality with respect to any client matter or internal. there is the likelihood of creating legal liability and prejudice to the client’s case. in their absence. under no circumstances should an attorney’s office be offered for use to a client. either as to the firm. I acknowledge that I have been instructed regarding the confidentiality of all firm business. or where instructed in writing by management.

Can it be improved? • Conducting a client interview. • Who is our professional liability carrier? Where is the policy located? What to do if problems arise? • Dog cases. into paying clients. What does the fee cover? • Timekeeping. This method allows all team members to understand the rules and put them into practice with the work they do. To promote proper teamwork. confidentiality. Topics at your next staff session might include: • Avoiding client conflicts of interest. • Reception area: is it client friendly? • How to convert “social consultations” at weddings. • Avoid business dealings with clients. then it is applied to specific examples from the firm’s caseload. • Developing a newsletter or news bulletins to send to clients. • Representing clients with a disability. Each meeting focuses on one specific subject . • Marketing. What are our goals? • Using press releases. • Possible new sources of client referrals. The rules involving the topic is thoroughly discussed. • E-mail and voice mail. • Sending “no activity” letters when a case is inactive for 90 days or more. • Upcoming continuing education seminars. etc. What can we do about them? • Sending thank you letters when someone refers you a client. • Using client satisfaction surveys. some firms have developed monthly meetings with attorneys and staff to discuss related topics. • Returning phone calls promptly. R I S K M A N AG E M E N T H A N D O UT S O F L AW Y E R S M UT U A L 30 TRAINING TOPICS Need something to talk about at your next staff meeting? Here are 30 suggested topics on client relations: Teamwork is essential for good client relations. • Review of client engagement/disengagement/nonengagement letters. Don’t discuss client affairs with other people. • Using the calendar/docket system. • Internet issues. • Law library • Ethics rules on supervising subordinate lawyers and nonlawyers. • Review of client intake/interview form.for example. • What sort of clients should be turned away from our firm? • Client confidentiality. Should our firm have a Web site? — 11 — .. • Telephone etiquette. These sessions promote teamwork and emphasize the importance of client satisfaction. • No sex with clients. • The difference between client fees and costs.

2) Preparing for Conferences: Before calling. to 5:30 p. It would be appreciated if you would let us know if I may call you (and at what numbers) during evening hours or on the weekend when avoidable circumstances do not allow me to return your call during our telephone conference hours described above or when I may need to contact you on an expedited basis. We value your having entrusted us to represent you and intend to provide you with the high and excellent quality of services that you expect and deserve. It is very important to the firm that we maintain prompt and productive communications with you. — 12 — . 1) Telephone Conferencing Hours: Except in an emergency. If for any reason you cannot abide by this policy.m. 5) Your Telephone Number: If asked. also!) 8) Thank You! Your cooperation and assistance plays a critical role in the success of our attorney/client relationship and in reaping the timesaving and efficient benefits offered by our firm’s telephone policy. or another attorney within our firm. please explain what the emergency involves to the person answering your call. will return your call as soon as possible. Please do not be upset if I am not available to immediately take your call. however. please notify me immediately so that we can work out a mutually agreeable alternative plan. please prepare a written list of those matters you wish for us to discuss. Please remember that at times I will not be available during these hours because of a trial or other client-related matters. We. We also strive to minimize frustrations of “telephone tag” or lost time on your part in the waiting on a return call from our office. 7) Improving Our Telephone Conferencing: Please let me know if you have any suggestions on how we can improve upon our telephone policy or if you have any concerns or complaints regarding our handling of your calls (positive feedback is always welcome. excellent communications between us is essential. that only attorneys can give legal advice. or instructions that I may have given you. Should this not occur. and 4:00 p. Please remember.C L I E N T R E L AT I O N S SAMPLE TELEPHONE POLICY FOR CLIENTS As we discussed during our initial conference. therefore. Additionally. the policy enables our firm to continue providing the high quality of legal services for which it is well known by providing an efficient timesaving procedure for the making and returning of phone calls.m. 6) Ensuring Clear Communications: During our conversations. Rest assured that someone from our firm will make every effort to return your call within forty-eight hours. advice. or one of our paralegals. that you agree to assist us in the successful implementation of this policy. to 12:00 p. but having it on your telephone message assists us in maximizing the use of our time for you and our other clients. 3) Note-taking Supplies: Please have pen and paper available before calling to make any appropriate notes during our telephone conferences. please ask for any clarification you may need so that we do not end a conference with your questions unanswered. please share your list with the paralegal assigned to your case so that I will be prepared for our discussion when I return your call thereby saving us both valuable time. please call me during the following office hours: 10:00 a. We have developed the telephone policy below primarily because we know your time is extremely valuable. Employees of our firm who are not attorneys do not give legal advice and should not be asked to do so. I will be returning phone calls during these hours as well. of course have such information in your case records. You will then have a convenient reference source of our conversation and of important dates. Either I.m. we would appreciate you calling us back and letting the receptionist know that your original call had not yet been returned. 4) Emergencies: If your call is urgent. We ask.m. however. Thank you again for having given us the opportunity to do so. If I am not available when you call. and much of our contact will be by telephone. please give your telephone number(s).

To understand that. To willfully and cheerfully assist each other in any matter relating to the Firm’s practice or clients. we have a sacred trust reposed in us by those who place with the Firm themselves and their legal matters. the violation of which far outweighs any damage that may flow therefrom. except as may be prohibited by the Rules of Professional Conduct. 7. the Firm’s personnel. courtesy and hospitality. the Firm’s practice. 5. adverse parties. and to engender trust and affability among themselves agree to the following Covenants and agree to conduct themselves according to these precepts which are in addition to those standard by law. — 13 — . in an effort to provide the highest level of services to their clients. To treat all outside attorneys. and we must strive to earn and keep that trust each day. R I S K M A N AG E M E N T H A N D O UT S O F L AW Y E R S M UT U A L SAMPLE ATTORNEYS COVENANTS The attorneys at The McIntosh Law Firm. To treat and deal with each other honestly with complete and full disclosure of all matters relevant to the Firm. 2. and to deal honorably with those we face in adversarial process. rules and regulations governing the practice of Law in the United States in general and North Carolina specifically. 3. To keep all clients and adverse parties apprised of any matters relevant to any cases being administered by the Firm. To treat all Firm staff. to establish confidence and respect in the lawyer/client relationship. 9. To maintain open lines of communication with each other and to discuss any matter that is not settled until a resolution is reached. as attorneys and members of this Firm. and guests with respect. and the Firm’s clients. To observe all laws. 8. To remember that jealousy and greed are the two greatest enemies any enterprise may have and the enemy within is more dangerous than the enemy without. 6. Reprinted with permission of the McIntosh Law Firm. 1. 10. clients. but present a united front to the outside world (defined as anyone not an attorney in the Firm) and support the Firm’s position unanimously. and others with whom the Firm comes in contact with honesty and courtesy. 4. or until each attorney must “agree to disagree” and put their differences aside for the general good of the firm. To disagree in the privacy of our own meetings and conversations. courthouse personnel.

mileage and postage. clause for fee arbitration in the event of a dispute. CLIENT EDUCATION • Inform the client when you will be away. charge or collect an illegal or clearly excessive fee. to avoid future problems.C L I E N T R E L AT I O N S CLIENT FEES AND BILLING The difficult client can be described thus: one who • Return phone calls within 24 hours. A division of fee is different from the reality. • Obtain a retainer substantial enough to cover the • Tell the client what to expect each step of the way.5 of the Rules of Professional Conduct. fee customarily charged in the • List expenses the client must repay. tell the client the client and possibly handle a problem. who owes a large amount of money. nature and State whether your fee in a contingent case is length of the professional relationship with client. Charge an adequate fee. • Hire a conscientious secretary who can talk with • When something happens. one staff person to do this if you really are unavailable. pay the bill. fees. Study a matter carefully to assess complexity and statement is accurate and valid. time for you to call the client back.e. so he or she feels like a participant. your enthusiasm wanes and mistakes between fees and costs. reputation and ability of the lawyer. • The rules requires you to be fair to clients when Make sure the client understands if all or part of setting fees. transcripts. Inform the client about your progress. consult a seasoned attorney. immediately with question. if you’re unavailable. excessive: time and labor required. becoming a “difficult client.” your workload. caring receptionist who can help during that time. Be fair to yourself as well. based upon the gross or net recovery. Among the factors to • Carefully explain fees during your first meeting be considered in determining whether a fee is with a client. you agree that the them. If you’re unsure how • Add a paragraph that tells the client to call you to price a case. When a case becomes a • Include language explaining the difference financial loser. initial phases of the case. amount involved. Put the fee agreement in writing. one who has Encourage the client to put thoughts on paper for owed money for a lengthy period of time. and: “If the firm does • Do not promise results sooner than you might get not hear from you in ten days. employment. • Read Rule 1. Don’t the retainer is nonrefundable. and whether the fee is fixed or contingent. photocopies. then respond to them. explain immediately. The best time to clarify acceptance of the case will preclude other financial issues is at the outset of representation.” • Avoid surprises. time limitations. Define the term “retainer. between lawyers who are not in the same firm may — 14 — . Let the client know immediately if difficulties arise. and ascertain a convenient not an observer. undersell your services. i. Tell when bills will be sent and payments due. A client’s perception of a legal problem frequently • Know the rules on fee splitting. which says a lawyer shall not enter into FEE AGREEMENTS an agreement for. Get client authorization for unexpected services.” occur. who ignores your repeated attempts to be paid. results obtained. reduce a potential client’s stress right from the • Acknowledge failures to communicate. • Send the client copies of all case documents sent Take steps to minimize your chances of a client’s and received. Take steps beginning of your relationship. Include a experience. such as filing locality for similar services. novelty and Misunderstandings about legal fees lead to difficulty of the questions involved. and have a system in place to deal with client concerns • Hire a cheerful. likelihood malpractice claims. and/or one you. Delegate a doesn’t do what the lawyer wants.

Even better would be to mail a bill on the 30th of the • Arbitrate fee disputes.” have someone call to determine if the client has a • Thank the client for hiring you or recommending problem with the bill. “Client Relations: It’s Everyone’s • Always show clients how your bill can be tax Business”. Investigate your shortening the billing cycle to every two weeks. bars if the client submits a proper request for fee • If a statement remains unpaid after 45 to 60 days. of ABA and Sally Schmidt. Get a • Send a bill immediately after something good copy of the arbitration procedures. committed constructive fraud when they entered • Beware of suing clients for fees. says: “Any lawyer having a dispute with a client • Be sure statements adequately describe your services. R I S K M A N AG E M E N T H A N D O UT S O F L AW Y E R S M UT U A L be made only if the division is in proportion to the • Investigate billing methods other than hourly services performed by each lawyer or. The Portions reprinted with permission of the ABA and lawyer should not call. you to someone else. arbitration. of all lawyers. no later than • Review the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the third or fourth day of the month. The total fee must be reasonable. if such is subject to the jurisdiction of any duly • Create a manual or monograph itemizing various constituted fee arbitration committee of the North collection procedures.5(e). Clients prefer a known collection action. in compliance. rev. form letters. Up to 80 percent of fee month to ensure its prompt consideration. Family Law. Rule 1. — 15 — . “ABA General Practice Section Committee embarrassed. and related Carolina State Bar or any of its constituent district documents. deducted if possible. telephone 312/988-5522. Studies show lawyers In Booher v. Then the bill is unpaid and you’ve Update. 98 NC App 570. as a client normally will be Edward Poll. A popular resource is Win-Win Billing agreement with the client. Would you advise doctors to amount to a big hole. Consider suits are settled in arbitration. bring their own fee collection suits? • Send a billing statement every month. Before suing.5(f) happens for the client. Rule published by the ABA’s Law Practice Management 1. The Compleat Lawyer. in keeping make sure your conduct and correspondence are with the billing cycle the client probably is used to. joint responsibility for the representation. attorneys were found to have money and avoid claims. Frue. Gather information as to the nature of program of nonbinding fee arbitration at least the problem and immediately develop a strategy 30 days prior to initiating legal proceedings to for dealing with the client. contact clients as necessary. each lawyer assumes Strategies. • Keep time logs in all cases. who keep faithful and accurate records make more 327 NC 426 (1990). have another attorney conduct BILLING a thorough file review. Suing a client into a fee splitting arrangement without the client’s to collect an unpaid fee almost guarantees a knowledge or consent. collect the disputed fee. ABA “The Lawyer’s lost a client whose financial problem may have Desk Guide to Legal Malpractice ”Reprinted with permission been resolved and who might have stayed with you. disc. denied. by written billing. and pursue collections. Talk with your client face-to- face. counterclaim alleging some real or alleged breach of professional duty. The client must agree to the participation Section. • Appoint someone to review each file. district bar’s fee arbitration program. regarding a fee for legal services must (1) make • Age the accounts receivable weekly. Alternatives That Satisfy Your Clients and You. and review reasonable efforts to advise his or her client of them quickly to determine who the “problem” the existence of the North Carolina State Bar’s clients are. and (2) participate in good • Mail reminder statements for any bills unpaid after faith in nonbinding arbitration of the fee dispute two weeks. 1994. Did you live up to your end of the bargain? Get that lawyer to bring the • Consider flat fee billing.” December 1993.

and (3) the total fee is reasonable. preferably in writing. (2) the likelihood. and whether such expenses are to be deducted before or after the contingent fee is calculated. or (2) a contingent fee in a civil case in which such a fee is prohibited by law. charge. charge. except in a matter in which a contingent fee is prohibited by paragraph (d) or other law. (7) the experience.FEES (a) A lawyer shall not make an agreement for. (f) Any lawyer having a dispute with a client regarding a fee for legal services must: (1) make reasonable efforts to advise his or her client of the existence of the North Carolina State Bar’s program of fee dispute resolution at least 30 days prior to initiating legal proceedings to collect the disputed fee. if apparent to the client. before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation. including the share each lawyer will receive. (d) A lawyer shall not enter into an arrangement for. the scope of the representation and the basis or rate of the fee and expenses for which the client will be responsible shall be communicated to the client. that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer. (5) the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances. or collect: (1) a contingent fee for representing a defendant in a criminal case. a lawyer may charge and collect a contingent fee for representation in a criminal or civil asset forfeiture proceeding if not otherwise prohibited by law. or collect an illegal or clearly excessive fee or charge or collect a clearly excessive amount for expenses. — 16 — . reputation. (6) the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client. the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved. (e) A division of a fee between lawyers who are not in the same firm may be made only if: (1) the division is in proportion to the services performed by each lawyer or each lawyer assumes joint responsibility for the representation. however. Upon conclusion of a contingent fee matter. and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly. litigation and other expenses to be deducted from the recovery. (4) the amount involved and the results obtained. (2) the client agrees to the arrangement. (b) When the lawyer has not regularly represented the client. The factors to be considered in determining whether a fee is clearly excessive include the following: (1) the time and labor required. A contingent fee agreement shall be in a writing signed by the client and shall state the method by which the fee is to be determined.5 . and (2) participate in good faith in the fee dispute resolution process if the client submits a proper request. if there is a recovery. and (8) whether the fee is fixed or contingent. and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services. and the agreement is confirmed in writing. showing the remittance to the client and the method of its determination. (3) the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services. trial or appeal. the lawyer shall provide the client with a written statement stating the outcome of the matter and. The agreement must clearly notify the client of any expenses for which the client will be liable whether or not the client is the prevailing party. (c) A fee may be contingent on the outcome of the matter for which the service is rendered. including the percentage or percentages that shall accrue to the lawyer in the event of settlement.C L I E N T R E L AT I O N S RULE 1.

(3) keep the client reasonably informed about the status of the matter. (b) A lawyer shall explain a matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation. • Creativity • Performance and results RULE 1.3 DILIGENCE A lawyer shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing a client. The • We resolve to be well prepared to handle your legal first step is to let clients know you are committed to needs them. Competent representation requires the legal knowledge. thoroughness.in providing quality legal services and in • Integrity being a good corporate neighbor. cost effective manner Use the suggestions below and add your own to • We resolve to communicate with you concerning create your individual commitment to clients: the status of your case and return your telephone calls IDENTIFY YOUR MISSION • We resolve to introduce you to the legal team that will be meeting your needs • Our clients and community keeping ethics and excellence in mind at all times. (4) promptly comply with reasonable requests for information. It might change your practice forever. Follow through on the • We resolve to use technology and innovation in a commitments. RULE 1.0(f). and preparation reasonably necessary for the representation. (2) reasonably consult with the client about the means by which the client’s objectives are to be accomplished. RULE 1.4 COMMUNICATION (a) A lawyer shall: (1) promptly inform the client of any decision or circumstance with respect to which the client’s informed consent. Then • We resolve to be honest with you about your case do what you say you will do. Share your mission statement with them. • Excellence • Our goal is to be recognized as a community • Trust leader . R I S K M A N AG E M E N T H A N D O UT S O F L AW Y E R S M UT U A L DECLARATION TO CLIENTS DEVELOP YOUR OWN DECLARATION TO CLIENTS IDENTIFY GOALS FOR MEETING CLIENT NEEDS Developing your own mission statement might • We resolve to listen to your needs help improve client relations in your office. XYZ LAW FIRM VALUES • Our goal is to offer quality services to establish community standards and exceed clients’ • Commitment to clients expectations. as defined in Rule 1.1 COMPETENCE A lawyer shall not handle a legal matter that the lawyer knows or should know he or she is not competent to handle without associating with a lawyer who is competent to handle the matter. skill. and (5) consult with the client about any relevant limitation on the lawyer’s conduct when the lawyer knows that the client expects assistance not permitted by the Rules of Professional Conduct or other law. is required by these Rules. — 17 — .

▪ To work with other participants in the legal system to make our legal system more accessible and responsive.C L I E N T R E L AT I O N S MY DECLARATION OF COMMITMENT TO CLIENTS ▪ To treat you with respect and courtesy. as permitted by law and the rules of professional conduct. ▪ To keep you informed and provide you with copies of important papers. ▪ To change a reasonable fee and to explain in advance how that fee will be computed and billed. ▪ To exercise independent professional judgment on your behalf. in accordance with the highest standards of the profession. ▪ To return phone calls promptly. ▪ To exhibit the highest degree of ethical conduct in accordance with the Code of Professional Responsibility/Model Rules of Professional Conduct. including whether or not to settle a case. ▪ To handle your legal matters competently and diligently. Provided by American Bar Association Subject to the professional rules of conduct in effect in each state. — 18 — . ▪ To preserve the client confidences learned during our lawyer-client relationship. ▪ To respect your decisions on the objectives to be pursued in your case.

R I S K M A N AG E M E N T H A N D O UT S O F L AW Y E R S M UT U A L POST-REPRESENTATION SURVEY How did you find out about our firm? _____ Referred by family/friend _____ Knew attorney personally _____ Advertisement in ________________________________________________________ _____ Other: ________________________________________________________________ Was our firm conveniently located for you? _____ Yes _____ No Did our staff greet you courteously when you came to the office? _____ Yes _____ No Were your phone calls answered pleasantly by staff ? _____ Yes _____ No Were your phone calls returned promptly by attorneys? _____ Yes _____ No Did the attorney handling your case explain what the firm would do? _____ Yes _____ No Did you feel the legal fees charged were fair for the services provided? _____ Yes _____ No Did you receive regular bills on your case? _____ Yes _____ No Were you given regular status reports on your case? _____ Yes _____ No Did the attorney handling your case explain the progress of your case? _____ Yes _____ No Did you feel you met with your attorney when you needed to? _____ Yes _____ No Overall. were you satisfied with the legal services you received? _____ Yes _____ No If you need legal representation in the future. — 19 — . would you refer him/her to our firm? _____ Yes _____ No Please write down any comments or suggestions you may have to help us better serve our clients in the future. _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________ Thank you again. would you call our firm? _____ Yes _____ No If a friend needed an attorney. It was our privilege to serve you.

How satisfied were you with the timeliness in response to your telephone calls/letters? 11. please feel free to attach additional pages. How satisfied were you with how we listened to your concerns? 13. 1. How satisfied were you that your matter was the work we performed for you? appropriately staffed with respect to the work performed 1 2 3 4 5 by the lawyer and work performed by a paralegal or legal Comments: _____________________________ assistant? _______________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 Comments: _____________________________ 2. How satisfied were you with the amount of attention your matter was given? 10. given the quality of the services we provide? Comments: _____________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 _______________________________________ Comments: _____________________________ _______________________________________ 7. How satisfied were you with the amount of your legal 1 2 3 4 5 fees and costs. How satisfied were you with the ability of this office 1 2 3 4 5 to meet your legal needs? Comments: _____________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 _______________________________________ Comments: _____________________________ _______________________________________ — 20 — . How satisfied were you with the amount and timeliness _______________________________________ of information given you regarding the status of your matter? 9. How satisfied were you with our responsiveness to any 1 2 3 4 5 billing comments that you made? Comments: _____________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 _______________________________________ Comments: _____________________________ _______________________________________ 5. How satisfied were you that we understood your business and/or personal goals? 14.” Your comments are also appreciated. How satisfied were you with the amount of 1 2 3 4 5 information provided on our billing statement? Comments: _____________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 _______________________________________ Comments: _____________________________ _______________________________________ 4. How satisfied were you that we were cost-conscious in 1 2 3 4 5 handling your work? Comments: _____________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 _______________________________________ Comments: _____________________________ _______________________________________ 6. How satisfied were you with the turnaround time on 8.C L I E N T R E L AT I O N S CLIENT SURVEY Thank you for taking a few minutes to complete this survey. Please circle the number which most closely fits with your opinion. The information you provide will help us provide better service to our clients. How satisfied were you that our written 1 2 3 4 5 communications were clear and concise? Comments: _____________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 _______________________________________ Comments: _____________________________ _______________________________________ 3. How satisfied were you that the attorney was accessible on short notice? 12. “1” being “very unsatisfied” and “5” “completely satisfied.

Please tell us any suggestions you may have to improve 22. please write in your ______________________________________ name and telephone number. Please tell us about any instance of anyone from our office not relating well to you and your staff. Please tell us what we should stop doing for you. 20. How satisfied are you that we keep you informed of 21. ___ Employment/Labor ______________________________________ ___ Tax ______________________________________ ___ Intellectual Property ______________________________________ ___ Environmental Law 18. Please mark with an “X” those legal services provided Name: ___________________________ by this firm that you have used: Telephone: ________________________ ___ General Civil Litigation ___ Personal injury ___ Family Law Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey. If we may use you as a reference. R I S K M A N AG E M E N T H A N D O UT S O F L AW Y E R S M UT U A L 15. Please with an “X” those legal services you anticipate legal changes that might impact your business? needing in the future 1 2 3 4 5 ___ General Civil Litigation Comments: _____________________________ ___ Personal injury _______________________________________ ___ Family Law ___ Real Estate 16. OPTIONAL: ______________________________________ 23. ___ Real Estate Please return it to us in the enclosed self-addressed ___ Estate Planning stamped envelope at your earliest convenience. why? _____________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ ______________________________________ 19. ___ Yes ___ No ______________________________________ ______________________________________ If not. Please tell us what we should keep doing for you. ___ Business Law ___ Bankruptcy ___ Criminal ___ Banking/Credit Union Law ___ Employment/Labor ___ Tax ___ Intellectual Property ___ Environmental Law — 21 — . ___ Estate Planning ______________________________________ ___ Business Law ______________________________________ ___ Bankruptcy ______________________________________ ___ Criminal ___ Banking/Credit Union Law 17. We will always call you first ______________________________________ before giving out your name. Would you recommend us to others? our ability to serve you.