April 1950

RETAINER AGREEMENTS—An attorney may use a written "Retainer Agreement" in which he is employed by a client, for a stipulated fee payable in advance, to consult with and advise him as to his legal problems, and which sets out certain rights and limitations pertaining to the arrangement.

Canon 11.


Does the use, by a practicing attorney, of a written "Retainer Agreement" whereby for a stipulated fee, payable in advance, the client employs the attorney for the purpose of consultation and advice, during office hours, on matters which involve, or may involve, legal problems of the client, violate the Canons of Ethics of the State Bar of Texas? Such "Retainer Agreement" specifies certain types of service which are not covered by the agreement, and provides that any of those services will be performed by the attorney only at the request of the client, upon a basis previously agreed upon between said client and attorney. Such "Retainer Agreement" further provides that by the acceptance of the retainer fee the attorney recognizes that the relationship of attorney and client exists during the life of the agreement, and said attorney will not handle any claim or suit against such Client while the agreement is in effect. Such "Retainer Agreement" further provides that its execution shall not prohibit the client from seeking counsel, advice or legal services from any other lawyer.


It is the unanimous opinion of the committee that the use of such a "Retainer Agreement" does not violate any of the Canons of Ethics of the State Bar of Texas. The committee was called upon to express, and does not express, any opinion as to the necessity for, nor the desirability of, the use of such an agreement. (9-0)