In general principle, the relationship between the lawyer and the client is contractual. It's also an agency relationship, and its general contours are governed by the same rules. However, it distinguishes itself from other types of agency by its high fiduciary quality and by the limit of its scope. As a lawyer, you are 100 percent committed to helping your clients.
But do your customers know? Beyond their daily commitments, there may be some important demands for lawyers in terms of diligence. For example, Comment 1 to Rule 1.3 states: “A lawyer must pursue a matter on behalf of a client despite personal opposition, obstruction, or inconvenience to the lawyer. Join this tour on August 18 to see why more than 150,000 legal professionals use Clio's leading cloud-based legal software. 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. An attorney-client relationship can form slowly over time or quickly when services are needed immediately. Although it may come as a surprise, an attorney-client relationship can develop as soon as one person believes that the relationship exists, even if the lawyer has no interest or intention to represent the person or does not wish to become that person's legal counsel.
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. An attorney-client relationship is formed when a lawyer agrees to provide legal assistance to someone seeking the lawyer's services. There are many aspects of the attorney-client relationship that are governed by professional liability rules. 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.
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.