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Sample Engagement Letter

SAMPLE ENGAGEMENT LETTERS


Sample Engagement Letters No. One


[Date]



[New Client]


            RE:     Employment of ___________________ by _____________________


Dear _________________:


Thank you for selecting _________________________ to represent you with respect to ____________________________________________. This letter will confirm our recent discussion regarding the scope and terms of this engagement.


Our firm has agreed to represent you in this lawsuit. I personally will supervise the case. However, it is anticipated that other lawyers and legal assistants in the firm also will work on the case.


[Give some detail of the anticipated services, and discuss any limitation on the scope of the representation.]


[Straight hourly option] You have agreed to pay for our services based on the time we spend working on the case. My current hourly rate is $______ per hour. The rates of our associates currently range between $_______ and $_______ per hour. Legal assistants, who will be utilized where appropriate to avoid unnecessary attorney fees, currently are charged at $_______. These rates are subject to change once a year, usually in December. Generally you will be billed for all time spent on your matter, including telephone calls.


[Value added billing option] You have agreed to pay for our services based on the time we spend working on the case, with allowance for reduction or increase in fees under certain circumstances. My current hourly rate is $_______ per hour. The rates of our associates currently range between $_______ and $_______ per hour. Legal assistants, who will be utilized where appropriate to avoid unnecessary attorney fees, currently are charged at $______. These rates are subject to change once a year, usually in December. On occasion, time may be written off before a statement is sent because we feel there has been some degree of inefficiency in the work, or for other reasons. On the other hand, fees may be raised above hourly rate levels, based on the complexity of the matter, superior results, or other factors. If applied, we will discuss any such increases with you, and believe you will find them appropriate.


We will forward billing statements monthly. They will contain a description of services, including the date, the person rendering the service, the amount of time involved, and a description of the task accomplished. Monthly statements also will itemize monies we have advanced on your behalf, such as service and filing fees, expert witness fees, court reporter fees, and charges for investigation, travel and accommodation, telephone long distance, photocopies and telecopies.


As discussed, our current estimate for this engagement is $________. [Detail items the estimate covers and does not cover.] This estimate is imprecise as my knowledge of the facts at this time is limited. We will advise you if fees will be significantly higher than this estimate. At such time, you may decide to restrict the scope of our efforts or we may make other adjustments. This estimate does not include cost items.


You have paid us the sum of $_______ as an advance against fees and costs, which we have deposited to our trust account. After your receipt of monthly statements, we will pay the amount of the statement from the trust account. If any portion of the advance is unexpended at the conclusion of the case, it will be refunded to you. If the advance is expended, you have agreed to pay subsequent monthly statements on receipt. An interest charge of one and one-half percent per month is charged on statement balances not paid within 30 days of billing.


You will appreciate we can make no guarantee of a successful conclusion in any case. However, the attorneys of this firm will use their best efforts on your behalf.


[Include any special disclosures that may be appropriate, such as potential conflicts of interest, client confidentiality issues, etc.]


My objectives are to provide you with excellent legal services and to protect your interests in the event of my unexpected death, disability, impairment, or incapacity. To accomplish this, I have arranged with another lawyer to assist with closing my practice in the event of my death, disability, impairment, or incapacity. In such event, my office staff or the assisting lawyer will contact you and provide you with information about how to proceed.


If this letter fairly states our agreement, will you please so indicate by signing and returning the enclosed copy in the enclosed business reply envelope. If you have any questions or concerns, please call me to discuss them. We greatly appreciate the opportunity to represent you on this case and look forward to working with you.


Sincerely,




Attorney Name

Firm Name



 Sample Engagement Letter No. Two


Contract for Legal Services


I hereby retain and employ _______________________________, as my attorney to represent me in regard to my claim or suit for damages arising out of ________________

_____________________ at or near ___________________________________ which occurred on or about the _______ day of _________________, 19_____.


I agree to pay said attorneys’ fees as follows: _____ percent of whatever may be re- covered from said claim whether by suit, settlement, or in any manner. If a second trial or an appeal becomes necessary, then said fees shall be _____ percent. Said percentages are computed upon the gross recovery prior to deducting out-of-pocket expenses.


If I agree to accept a structured settlement which calls for periodic payments in the future, I agree that at its option, may either be paid its fee based upon the present value of the total structured settlement from any cash sum paid at the time of settlement, or it may be paid the percentage referred to above, of all periodic payments.


In addition to the attorneys’ fees payable under this Contract, I understand that I will pay expenses in connection with the investigation and prosecution of my claim. In the event a recovery is made by settlement, trial, or appeal, the expenses shall be deducted from my share of the recovery after the attorneys’ fees have been calculated and deducted from the recovery. I understand that a recovery cannot be guaranteed and that I remain responsible for any out-of-pocket costs even if no recovery occurs.


My objectives are to provide you with excellent legal services and to protect your interests in the event of my unexpected death, disability, impairment, or incapacity. To accomplish this, I have arranged with another lawyer to assist with closing my practice in the event of my death, disability, impairment, or incapacity. In such event, my office staff or the assisting lawyer will contact you and provide you with information about how to proceed.


I understand and I acknowledge that the ________________ law firm at its discretion, may withdraw as my counsel if, after investigation of this matter, it is the opinion of the law firm that the same should not be pursued, provided all procedures required by applicable state law or Court rules are followed and completed.


I have read this agreement and received a copy of it.


Date: _______________________, 19_______


_________________________________                  ______________________________

Client                                                                          Client


The aforementioned employment is hereby accepted on the terms stated.


                                                                                    By: __________________________