Missouri Rule of Professional Conduct 4-1.5 requires a written fee agreement in contingent fee representations. The detail that is necessary in a fee agreement is defined by the circumstances. A lawyer has a duty to communicate with the client to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding the representation. [Rule 4-1.4(b) and Comment to Rule 4-1.5]
The scope of representation should be set forth and any limits on what the lawyer will do must be clearly spelled out. A lawyer may limit the objectives of the representation if the client gives informed consent [Rule 4-1.2(c)]. However, any limitation must accord with the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct and other law. A client may not be asked to agree to representation so limited in scope as to violate Rule 4-1.1 relating to competence or to surrender the right to terminate the lawyers’ services or the right to settle litigation that the lawyer might wish to continue. [Comment, Rule 4-1.2] A lawyer cannot limit her duties or liability under the Missouri Rules of Professional Conduct in the fee agreement.
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.