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Case Citations [1] (July 2019 - August 2020)

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          THE LAW GOVERNING LAWYERS 3D



                   CHAPTER 2. THE CLIENT-LAWYER RELATIONSHIP

Introductory Note

Mich.App.2019.  Intro. Note quot. in sup. Former employee sued former employer, alleging that
employer violated the Whistleblowers' Protection Act by terminating her in retaliation for reporting to
employer's attorney that co-worker made threatening statements during a disciplinary meeting. The trial
court denied employer's motion for summary disposition. This court reversed and remanded for entry of
an order granting summary disposition for employer, holding that the trial court erred by concluding that
employee engaged in protected activity by communicating with employer's attorney. The court reasoned
that, although employer's attorney might, in general terms, have been a member of a public body by
virtue of his profession, he was also acting as employer's agent within the meaning of the Restatement
Third of the Law Governing Lawyers when employee communicated  with him, such that she was, in
essence, communicating with employer. Rivera v. SVRC Industries, Inc., 934 N.W.2d 286, 297.



   TOPIC  2. SUMMARY OF THE DUTIES UNDER A CLIENT-LAWYER RELATIONSHIP

§ 18. Client-Lawyer Contracts

N.J.2020. Com. (h) cit. and quot. in sup. Client sued attorney who formerly represented her son in a
bullying lawsuit against school district, seeking to invalidate the parties' written retainer agreement on
the ground that attorney procured it in violation of the professional rules. After a hearing, the trial court
voided the agreement and limited attorney to the quantum meruit value of his services, finding that he
orally promised client that she would not be responsible for his legal fees if the lawsuit did not succeed,
despite terms of the agreement suggesting otherwise. The court of appeals affirmed. Affirming, this
court held that the agreement was not valid under Restatement Third of the Law Governing Lawyers §
18, because the trial court accepted client's assertion that she would not have retained attorney had he
informed her that she would be responsible for his hourly fees if the lawsuit failed, and concluded that a
reasonable client would have viewed the agreement as a typical contingent-fee arrangement that
obligated the client to pay a percentage of a monetary recovery only if the lawsuit succeeded. Balducci
v. Cige, 223 A.3d 1229, 1240, 1241.



                       TOPIC   3. AUTHORITY TO MAKE DECISIONS

§ 20. A Lawyer's Duty to Inform and Consult with a Client

S.D.2020. Com. (c) quot. in sup. and cit. in case quot. in sup. Client filed a legal-malpractice claim
against attorney after the personal-injury lawsuit that attorney filed on her behalf was dismissed as
untimely. The trial court granted summary judgment for attorney, finding that client's malpractice action

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          For earlier citations, see the Appendices, Supplements, or Pocket Parts, if any, that correspond to the subject matter under examination.

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