The March/April 2014 Maryland Bar Journal contains Stewart A. Sutton’s article that an attorney who has violated the Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct should not sue a former client for legal fees owed. The article contains a comprehensive analysis that an attorney only earns his or her fees when the attorney’s conduct conforms with the Rules of Professional Conduct. If the attorney was terminated for violating the Rules of Professional Conduct or if the client discovers the attorney’s violation after the representation has concluded, the client has a meritorious claim that the attorney has not earned any fees. See Abramson v. Wildman 184 Md.App. 189, 207 (2009) (“As a matter of policy, a lawyer should be regarded as ‘earning’ his or her fee only when he or she provides legal services to his or her client in a manner consistent with his or her professional duties”). In such situations, the client can sue the former attorney for breach of contract for the return of all legal fees paid.
Article published: “An attorney who violated the Rules of Professional Conduct should not sue a former client for legal fees owed”
by Stewart Sutton | Apr 8, 2014 | Attorney Grievance Commission, Legal Malpractice