“This testimonial or endorsement does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.”

By Michael Reiter, Attorney at Law

In California, the Rules of Professional Conduct apply to attorney conduct.  In particular, attorneys should not guarantee, warranty or predict an outcome.

The standards adopted by the State Bar of California pursuant to Rule of Professional Conduct Rule 1-400 prohibits, in pertinent part:

“(1) A “communication” which contains guarantees, warranties, or predictions regarding the result of the representation.

(2) A “communication” which contains testimonials about or endorsements of a member unless such communication also contains an express disclaimer such as “this testimonial or endorsement does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.”

Even if this was not part of the Rules of Professional Conduct, it would be a very bad idea to promise clients anything.  In my written fee agreements, which are based off the models on the State Bar’s website, and in its book The California Guide to Opening and Managing a Law Office,  I use this language:

” 13. DISCLAIMER OF GUARANTEE. Nothing in this Agreement and nothing in Attorney’s statements to Client will be construed as a promise or guarantee about the outcome of this matter. Attorney makes no such promises or guarantees. There can be no assurance that Client will recover any sum or sums in this matter. Attorney’s comments about the outcome of this matter are expressions of opinion only. Client acknowledges that Attorney has made no promise or guarantees about the outcome.”

The original can be found on Page 139 of the 2008 edition of the California Guide to Opening and Managing a Law Office, published by the State Bar of California.

The information you obtain at this blog is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is established by reading or commenting on this blog. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

 

Copyright 2014
Milligan, Beswick, Levine & Knox, LLP
A: 1447 Ford St. #201
      Redlands, CA 92374
T: (909) 296-6708
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