Monday, February 4, 2019

An Ordinary Arrangement

A newly-released opinion of the District of Columbia Bar Legal Ethics Committee

Ethics Opinion 376

Mandatory Arbitration Provisions in Fee Agreements

Fee agreements containing mandatory arbitration provisions are "ordinary fee arrangements," and the requirements of Rule 1.8 which addresses business transactions between lawyers and clients do not apply. The standard for obtaining client consent to fee agreements containing mandatory arbitration provisions is set forth in Comment [13] to Rule 1.8, and Legal Ethics Opinions 211 and 218 are superseded by Comment [13] and this opinion.  
 
If it is explained
 
For a client to appreciate the "scope and effect" of a mandatory arbitration provision, the lawyer must provide a client with sufficient information about the differences between litigation in the courts and arbitration proceedings. As a general matter, a discussion regarding at least the following differences between the two methods of dispute resolution is prudent: (1) the fees incurred;(2) the available discovery;(3) the right to a jury; and (4) the right to an appeal. As with the application of the informed consent standard, the scope of this discussion depends on the level of sophistication of the client.
 
(Mike Frisch)

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/legal_profession/2019/02/a-newly-released-opinion-of-the-district-of-columbia-bar-legal-ethics-committee-ethics-opinion-376-mandatory-arbitratio.html

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