According to Wisconsin Ethics Option E-95-5, “[w]hether an attorney-client relationship is formed depends upon the intent of the parties.” (citing Marten Trans. V. Hartford Speciality Co., 194 Wis. 2d 1, 533 N.W.2d 452 (1995)).
However, depending on the nature of the proposed or contemplated representation, there are certain rules that govern how that relationship must be memorialized. In Wisconsin, lawyers are governed by a set of rules known as the rules of professional conduct, which are found in the Supreme Court Rules, Chapter 20.
If a lawyer requires you to sign a fee agreement before they will handle your case, it is likely because the rules of professional conduct require it. SCR 20.1.5 does not use the term “fee agreement,” but the rule does identify different types of possible representation and further requires that certain information be communicated to the client.
The Rule addresses three specific circumstances:
Depending on the type of case you may require legal assistance for, a lawyer may be required by these rules to have a document in writing communicating certain aspects of their representation of you. Regardless of whether you sign a written fee agreement or have a verbal agreement to work with a lawyer, all lawyers are required to promptly respond to any client’s request for information concerning fees and expenses. SCR 20:1.5(3).
If you were injured in an accident, the lawyers at Weiss Law Office, S.C., will meet with you at no cost to discuss the process for hiring a lawyer to represent your interests. Our attorneys will take the time to explain the process, and will answer all of your questions so you can make the best choices possible about your case. Call today - (262) 240-9663
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