An attorney-client relationship is considered to be established immediately after the prospective client seeks legal advice from the lawyer regarding the former's business. In order to establish professional employment, it is not necessary that the client has hired the lawyer professionally on any previous occasion. Usually, an attorney-client relationship doesn't form until the lawyer and client agree. But the attorney-client privilege protects some communications made before the prospective client hires the lawyer, and even some where the lawyer is never hired.
In any case, once the required attorney-client relationship has been established, the lawyer owes the client a duty to provide legal service and advice or advice with the degree of skill, care and diligence possessed or expected of a reasonably competent lawyer under the same or similar circumstances. It is important to understand the importance of this type of situation because when there is an attorney-client relationship, you have a responsibility to your “client”. Courts will tend not to involve an attorney-client relationship in which the lawyer would have a potential or actual conflict of interest if considered to represent the putative client. An implied attorney-client relationship can be created even if the client has never signed a fee agreement.
Because an attorney-client relationship can develop quickly and without a signature on a contract, it is essential that you be alert at all times. The client must demonstrate that the involvement of the attorney-client relationship is “objectively reasonable in all circumstances. However, the Court found that there was a factual question as to whether the clerk's actions created an implicit attorney-client relationship. Such a legal conclusion can be drawn from the facts presented, such as trust on the part of the client (who believed in good faith that an attorney-client relationship existed) or from the fact that the lawyer provided more than an informal or anecdotal opinion or an answer to a question.
Therefore, you must ensure that you both understand the extent of the attorney-client relationship that exists between you. It's important to remember that having a conversation with another person about a legal matter can lead to the development of an unwanted attorney-client relationship. If that person followed your advice and ultimately decides to trust you for future legal advice and guidance, you may have an attorney-client relationship without even realizing it. The information provided on this site does not constitute legal advice, does not constitute a lawyer referral service, and no attorney-client or confidential relationship will be formed or formed through the use of the site.
In rare and limited circumstances, a court may infer that an attorney-client relationship existed as a matter of law, even without a contract or agreement between the parties, and even without the lawyer's consent.