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. A) A person who consults with a lawyer about the possibility of forming a client-lawyer relationship with respect to a matter is a prospective client. B) Even where a client-lawyer relationship does not occur, a lawyer who has learned information from a prospective client will not use or disclose that information, except as Rule 1.9 would allow with respect to a previous client's information.
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. 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”. 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.
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. An attorney-client relationship is formed when a lawyer agrees to provide legal assistance to someone seeking the lawyer's services. 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. Therefore, you must ensure that you both understand the extent of the attorney-client relationship that exists between you.
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 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. 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. There are many aspects of the attorney-client relationship that are governed by professional liability rules.
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