Instinctively I had felt there should be a written agreement. The problem is what to now do. if I had money I would seek another attorney for there are other problems. But the reality is that I do not have money, and that now I need continue with him. How can I present the request for an agreement in such a way that would make sense to him? If he says that there is no need, since he has agreed to represent me pro bono, what would be the best way to request it? How unusual is it to have no agreement? Thank you.
Your instincts are correct. Whereas some representations in the past may have been sealed with a handshake, Attorney Snell correctly points out that the Board of Bar Overseers now requires the terms of representation to be set out in writing, even with pro bono representation. Such an agreement also protects the attorney in that it establishes parameters around the extent of representation. If I were you, I would tell your lawyer that you would be more comfortable with a written agreement and that you understand it is required in all attorney-client relationships. Good luck!