Thursday, November 4, 2010

Open-ended Power of Attorney Can Go Too Far

Can a lawyer have a client sign a power of attorney authorizing the lawyer to execute for the client all the important documents in a matter—for example, settlement agreements and settlement checks? No, except in extraordinary circumstances say the Ohio Supreme Court’s ethics board.  Such a practice “shortchanges the client’s role in the legal representation.”

 Here, the ethics board was addressing a contingent fee agreement containing this authorization. Query: Would the same concerns apply to a non-contingent fee agreement? One would think so. U.S. Law Week summarizes the opinion in some detail.


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