In California what is required for a lawyer to represent a client in a civil matter?

Asked almost 2 years ago - Los Angeles, CA

Can a lawyer represent a client in a civil matter without a written document authorizing this.Can a lawyer represent a person in jail on an unrelated matter without that person authorizing them to do so?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Adrienne Patricia Allen

    Contributor Level 15

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes and no. Yes, there could be a verbal contract but there would have to be a clear understanding hich s best documented in writing. No, an attorey cannot represent someone without authorization. We would need more facts to specifically address your questions.

    I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. The above answer is for general... more
  2. Malosack Berjis

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . In California, a lawyer can represent a client without a signed retainer agreement if: (a) attorney's fees will not exceed $1,000; (b) attorney's fees are non-contingent; (c) the client states in writing that he/she does not want a written fee agreement; (d) a writing is impractical for other reasons; (e) the client is a corporation; (f) the lawyer acted in an emergency to protect the client’s rights; OR (g) the representation is for routine services for a regular client. But, generally speaking (so, there are exceptions) a lawyer must be authorized by the client to represent him/her. (You really do not provide enough facts for any further analysis.)

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