In non-contingent fee matters, there is no specific requirement under the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct that a fee agreement be in writing. However, if a representation is limited by the lawyer or the client in any way (e.g. not agreeing to appeal the disposition of a traffic ticket), the limitation must be in writing, signed by the client (See Rule 4-‐1.2 Scope of Representation and Formal Opinion 128: “Representation, in any type of case, that excludes appeal is limited scope representation”). It is recommended that lawyers reduce fee arrangements to writing to avoid misunderstandings and as elements of proof in the event of a dispute with the client. Supreme Court Rule 4-‐1.5(b) requires that when a lawyer has not regularly represented the client, the basis or rate of the fee shall be communicated to the client, preferably in writing, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation.
The information provided in this section was prepared by The Bar Plan as general information, and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion with regard to any specific circumstance or set of facts. This list is not inclusive of all the possible or required contents for such letters, and each attorney preparing such a letter must make an independent evaluation of the necessary and required contents, given the circumstances of the representation.