After our initial communication, I will send to you a letter of understanding that will contain the following:

  • A description of the project.

  • A confirmation of my fee and the project budget, if any.

  • A description of the extent to which I will have access to the client file and the means of access.  (Some lawyers have given me remote access and others have sent me the file on a protected thumb drive or disk.  Most send the material I need as attachments to e-mails.  I have found that I am more effective when I have the bulk of the file and a full understanding of the case, although I do not generally bill my time for our initial communication and my initial review.)

  • A description of the method of delivering the project to you.

  • A description of when the project is needed. (It is best, of course, if the brief is delivered a few days before it is to be filed.)

  • A confirmation that I will not be using your staff or office resources.

  • A confirmation of my promise to enter the client into my conflict system and to notify you at once if I find there is a conflict.

  • A confirmation that I am on retired status from the Arizona state bar and on inactive status with Oregon state bar, that I am not practicing law, and that I will be working under your direct supervision.  You are the lawyer.  I do not, therefore, carry any malpractice insurance.  Likewise, I am exempt as a contract lawyer under Oregon’s Professional Liability Fund requirements.

After the first letter of understanding clarifying the relationship, I generally receive new projects without duplicating the letter of understanding. 

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