LEO: Legal Fees/Settlement Discussions/Federal  LE Op. 536


Legal Fees/Settlement Discussions/Federal Civil

Rights Actions.


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.