Sharing Fees and Paying Referral Fees in 2020

Some of us remember the “good old days.” You could share your fees – i.e. pay or receive a referral fee – on almost any terms you wanted so long as both of you accurately reported your income to the IRS. There were times when I would receive a blind call on a personal injury […]

Clients Changing Lawyers – Part 2

To read the first part of this article, click here. In my previous blog, I outlined the risks that clients face when they terminate a lawyer whom they hired on a contingent fee basis. The Texas Supreme Court’s 1969 decision in Mandel & Wright is that a client who fires a lawyer employed on a […]

Clients Changing Lawyers

Clients routinely seek to change lawyers at some point during a lawsuit. It is usually not a problem—unless the first lawyer was retained on a contingent-fee basis. Because many clients who retain a lawyer on a contingent fee are unsophisticated consumers of legal services, they often stumble into risks that could have been avoided when […]

Be A SEAL

I recently prepared a presentation for a group of lawyers on a case I had concluded representing a retired Navy SEAL, and—was trying to think of what value it might have to them other than just hearing a war story. I came up with two objectives for myself. First: My wish for them—and for every […]

So, is that an “Extortion Demand” or are you Just Glad to See me?

In 2001, attorney Mary Roberts had sex with four men after discovering the affair of her husband, attorney Ted Roberts. The couple reconciled and Mr. Roberts sent demand letters to the four men—a lawyer, an accountant, and two chief financial officers—threatening to file petitions for rule 202 depositions about their sex with his wife.  Or, […]

Ten things every young lawyer should know, but doesn’t (Because they don’t teach it in law school)

“Oh good grief, another article by an older (I prefer the word experienced) lawyer who assumes he knows things younger lawyers could not possibly know.” But let’s face it, if a significant legal career does not somehow impart wisdom to the older lawyer that is not available to a lawyer who is not yet had that […]

Breaking Up is Hard To Do; Death of a Law Firm

An old French saying posits: “Any fool can start a love affair, but it takes a real talent to know how to end it.” The same is true for a law firm. And just like ending a love affair can cause anger and hostility you never expected, ending a law practice with lawyers you have […]