LEO: Legal Fees/Settlement Discussions/Federal LE Op. 536
Legal Fees/Settlement Discussions/Federal Civil
December 7, 1983
It would not be improper for defense attorneys in civil rights actions to
inject attorney's fees into settlement discussions. Plaintiff's counsel
may negotiate the amount of his fee during such discussion, but he must
first disclose to his client the conflict that may arise and obtain the
client's consent to negotiate his fee. Obviously, the attorney cannot
compromise his client's position in order to get attorney's fees.
Once the plaintiff's attorney agrees to attorney's fees in settlement
discussions, it would be improper for him to raise the matter of
attorney's fees with the court in violation of the settlement agreement. [
DR:2-105, DR:5-101(A), DR:5-103, DR:5-106 and Canon 9]
Committee Opinion December 7, 1983
See also LE Op. 1308, and LE Op. 1309.