Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The Value Of Excavation Services

An attorney who had made business arrangements with an established client who was unable to pay his $250 hourly fees has been reprimanded with probation  by the Maine Board of Bar Overseers

Here, there is no question that the transfer of the Audi, the note and mortgage and the payment through excavation services constituted “business with a client.” There is also no question that Flick failed to comply with the requirements of Rule 1.8(a). His conduct not only violated Rule 1.8(a) but also Rule 8.4(a), violating or attempting to violate the M.R. Prof. Conduct.

The stipulated facts

Flick had previously represented the complainant in other matters. Flick told the complainant that he would charge his usual rate of $250 per hour. The complainant did not have funds available to pay Flick. After some discussion, Flick and the complainant agreed that the complainant would pay for representation by transferring title to a 2009 Audi to Flick, by delivering a note and mortgage on some real estate to Flick and by the complainant providing some excavation services to Flick. Neither the exact value of these items nor the exact cost of representation was determined in advance. Flick spent many hours responding to communications from the complainant about the legal matters and spent several hours litigating one of the matters, and he obtained a good result for the complainant.

(Mike Frisch)


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