Retainer Agreement Prohibiting Settlement Without Attorney Consent Violates Public Policy


In Lemmer v. Charney, 2011 DJDAR 6494 (2011), the California Court of Appeal for the Second District invalidated a retainer agreement entered into between a client and his attorney on the ground that the contract violated fundamental notions of public policy.

The dispute between the attorney and the client was based on the lawyer’s assertion that the attorney was fraudulently induced to change the terms of his compensation from the payment of an hourly fee to a contingency fee arrangement based on the client’s false promise that he intended to take the case to trial or through settlement.

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