A lawyer acts as an agent for her client. Therefore, when the lawyer acts on behalf of the client, the client is bound by the lawyer's decisions, actions, or omissions. As such, it is important that there is a clear understanding between the lawyer and the client regarding what decisions are reserved for the client, and in which areas the lawyer has the discretion to act on the client's behalf. 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.
However, an attorney-client relationship can be formed even without any charges changing hands and without a signed agreement. If a lawyer provides legal advice to another person seeking it, and the lawyer can reasonably foresee that the prospective client will rely on that advice, or if the client reasonably believes that he was being represented by the lawyer, an attorney-client relationship forms. However, the Court found that there was a factual question as to whether the clerk's actions created an implicit attorney-client relationship. There are many aspects of the attorney-client relationship that are governed by professional liability rules.
Therefore, you must ensure that you both understand the extent of the attorney-client relationship that exists between you. Alternatively, the lawyer may agree to represent someone for all legal consequences matters that may arise, which creates an open and ongoing attorney-client relationship. 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. The client must demonstrate that the involvement of the attorney-client relationship is “objectively reasonable in all circumstances.
An attorney-client relationship can form slowly over time or quickly when services are needed immediately. An attorney-client relationship is formed when a lawyer agrees to provide legal assistance to someone seeking the lawyer's services. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.