I wish to thank you for retaining this firm to represent you.
This Agreement dated , will confirm our mutual understanding with respect to the terms of this firm’s representation of you and is made between the client(s) whose name(s) appear below (collectively called "Client") and The Law Offices of Scott E. Schwimer, Esq., (called "Attorney"). This Agreement is prepared in accordance with California Business and Professions Code Section 6148.
You have retained my firm for the purpose of rendering general transactional legal services. My services will not include litigation of any kind, whether in court, or in administrative hearings or before government agencies or arbitration tribunals. At your request, and if you and I agree on the financial arrangements, my services may also include such additional matters as fall within the fields of emphasis of my practice.
I agree to provide conscientious, competent and diligent services and at all times will seek to achieve the purpose for which I have been retained. However, because of the uncertainties in the entertainment industry, I cannot and do not warrant, predict or guarantee results or that a particular agreement or terms of an agreement, or financial arrangements will be obtained which are satisfying to you and nothing in my statements to you will be construed as a promise or guarantee about the outcome of your matters; my comments are expressions of opinion only.
You hereby authorize, empower, and appoint me as your attorney-in-fact for yourself(ves) and your company to collect and receive all monies due you and/or your company relating to this Agreement, to negotiate and endorse your or your company’s name on and deposit into my client trust account all checks and other monies payable, to deduct my compensation as set forth herein, if applicable, together with any costs advanced by me, and to send the remainder to you.
It is impossible to determine in advance the amount of fees or costs needed to complete this matter. Our fees are not set by law, but are subject to negotiation between you and me. Accordingly, you have agreed to pay me the sum of Three Thousand Dollars ($3,000.00) as a retainer in connection with the above described matters; upon receipt of such sum, we will commence representation of you. Our fees are computed on an hourly basis in five minute increments at the rate of Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) per hour; our rates are subject to change upon written notice. You will not be billed for photocopying, long distance telephone call charges within the United States, word processing, telecopying, mileage (within a fifty mile radius of Los Angeles), faxing, or secretarial charges. All clients are required to pay all outstanding bills within ten (10) days of their presentment.
Time is recorded and billed for those services for which billing is normally expected, such as drafting letters, agreements, conducting negotiations, attending meetings, etc., and also for phone calls and travel time to and from out-of-office meetings. Should any travel be required beyond a fifty mile radius of Los Angeles, all travel costs will be advanced by you, subject to your sole approval. You agree to fly my Business Class, if available, or First class, if Business Class is unavailable, and all hotel and food arrangements will be paid by you, should such travel be necessary and approved in advance by you before the commencement of such travel.
You are entitled to an "open door policy" whereupon any phone call made to this firm that lasts for less than ten minutes (unless such calls are sequential) will not be billed to you.
This is offered to you in an effort to create a bridge between the lawyer and client without the constant attention to financial concerns.
We have requested that you pay the firm an initial retainer as described above in connection with the services we will perform on your behalf. That sum will be deposited in our trust account to be applied to fees and costs as they are incurred. You may also be required to replenish or add to the amount in the trust account as deemed necessary by this firm to cover ongoing legal services. At the conclusion of our representation of you (including your decision to terminate this agreement at any time), any sums remaining in the firm’s trust account for your behalf after a final accounting and payment of all sums owed will be returned forthwith.
Pursuant to the requirements of Section 6148 of the California Business and Professions Code, I hereby notify you that I do presently maintain Lawyers Liability Errors and Omissions Insurance coverage from a third party insurer or insurance underwriter.
Termination of Representation:
You are free to terminate your relationship with the firm at any time you desire upon immediate written notice, and the firm reserves the right to withdraw as your counsel at any time upon written notice. Should the firm decide to terminate the relationship, we agree to provide any new attorney with complete copies of files and adequate transitional assistance.
Conflict of Interest:
As you know, attorneys are governed by rules of ethical conduct which under certain circumstances forbid their representation of clients with conflicting interests. We cannot, and will not, without appropriate written consents, represent a new client if we determine there is a conflict of interest with any of our other existing client matters. In order to avoid conflicts of interest, we ask that when you return the signed copy of this letter, you advise us of the names of any individuals or entities which may be involved in your
representation. In addition, please inform us at once if you learn in the future of other persons or entities who may be involved so that we may make a conflict of interest search with respect to them.
I have advised you that, whenever an attorney represents more than one individual, there exists a potential for a conflict of interest to arise in connection with such representation. You hereby acknowledge that you have been made aware of such potential conflict of interest by me, that I have made you aware of the right of each individual to retain his/her own attorney, and that you have chosen to waive such right and desire this office to represent each of you.
We appreciate the opportunity to serve as your attorneys and look forward to a harmonious relationship unmarred by disputes between us. In the event you become dissatisfied for any reason with the fees charged or the services we have performed, we encourage you to bring that to our attention immediately. It is our belief that most problems can be resolved by good faith discussion between the parties. Nevertheless, it is always possible that some dispute may arise which cannot be resolved by discussion between us. We believe that such disputes can be resolved more quickly and with less expense to all concerned by binding arbitration than by court action.
Arbitration is a process by which both parties to a dispute agree to submit the matter to a judge or arbitrator who has expertise in the area and to abide by the arbitrator’s decision. In arbitration, there is no right to a trial by jury and the arbitrator’s legal and factual determinations are not subject to appellate review. Rules of evidence and procedure are often less formal and rigid than in a trial before a court or jury. Arbitration usually results in a decision much more quickly than proceedings in court, and the attorneys’ fees and costs incurred by both sides are usually substantially less.
Your agreeing to arbitrate disputes is not a condition of our agreeing to represent you, and if you do not wish to arbitrate should there be a problem, you should advise us before signing this letter so that we can delete this section of the letter. Because by agreeing to arbitrate you will be giving up the right to a jury trial and other rights, we encourage you to discuss the advisability of arbitration with other counsel or any of your other advisors and to ask any questions of us or them that you may have.
BY SIGNING THIS LETTER AGREEMENT, YOU AGREE THAT IN THE EVENT OF ANY DISPUTE ARISING OUT OF OR RELATING TO THIS
AGREEMENT, OUR RELATIONSHIP, OR THE SERVICES PERFORMED (INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO DISPUTES REGARDING ATTORNEYS’ FEES OR COSTS AND THOSE ALLEGING NEGLIGENCE, BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTY, FRAUD, OR ANY CLAIM BASED UPON A STATUTE), SUCH DISPUTE SHALL BE RESOLVED BY FINAL, BINDING ARBITRATION IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY, CALIFORNIA, BEFORE A RETIRED JUDGE OR JUSTICE. IF WE ARE UNABLE TO AGREE ON A RETIRED JUDGE OR JUSTICE, EACH PARTY WILL NAME ONE RETIRED JUDGE OR JUSTICE AND THE TWO NAMED PERSONS WILL SELECT A RETIRED JUDGE OR JUSTICE WHO WILL ACT AS THE SOLE ARBITRATOR.
The parties shall be entitled to take discovery in accordance with the provisions of the California Code of Civil Procedure, but either party may request that the arbitrator limit the amount or scope of such discovery, and in determining whether to do so, the arbitrator shall balance the need for the discovery against the parties’ mutual desire to resolve disputes expeditiously and inexpensively.
In the event legal action is needed to collect fees and costs incurred but not paid, the prevailing party in such an action shall be entitled to receive the legal fees and costs incurred in that proceeding in addition to any other relief ordered by the arbitrator or court.
Confirmation of Agreement:
By countersigning below, you acknowledge that you have carefully read this Agreement, that you understand that I cannot advise you concerning it, and that you have the right to consult outside counsel concerning this Agreement; accordingly, you have either consulted with such outside counsel or, without having consulted such outside counsel, are satisfied that you fully understand and agree to this Agreement. If the foregoing correctly reflects our mutual understanding, please so indicate by signing the enclosed copy of this letter and returning it to us in the enclosed envelope. Please be sure to retain a copy of this Agreement for your files.
I am very pleased to represent you and thank you again for your confidence in us. I am looking forward to working with you.
Very truly yours,
THE LAW OFFICES OF SCOTT E. SCHWIMER, A Professional Corporation
SCOTT E. SCHWIMER, P.C.
AGREED TO AND ACCEPTED BY:
this day of
Sign here: ____________________________________________