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Seven Elements of a Successful Engagement Letter

By Michael Mooney

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An engagement letter defines the legal relationship between an attorney and client, and if used effectively, it can play a pivotal role in avoiding or even defending a legal malpractice claim. Here are seven elements to include in your engagement letter:

  • Define the scope of the representation and the agreed upon fees.
  • List the attorneys who will represent the client with their respective rates.
  • State how fees disputes will be resolved. State all parties you will represent.
  • State all parties you will not represent.
  • Identify the matters you will handle and the matters you have not been retained to handle.
  • Specify the manner in which the client will be billed.
  • Discuss how expenses will be handled.

 Mike Mooney is vice president of bar association programs at USI Affinity.


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