RPC 1.3; 1.15
Diligence; duties upon withdrawal; fee agreement permitting lawyer to cease work in case of nonpayment of fees
[The lawyer asked about the propriety of the following language in a fee agreement: "If any balance remains unpaid for more than 30 days, attorney reserves the right to do no further work on the matter, with or without withdrawing as attorney, and regardless of the effect it may have upon the outcome of the above matter."] The Committee has proposed that the fee language does not meet the minimum standards set forth in the Rules of Professional Conduct and you are prohibited from putting into a fee agreement that which is in violation of the RPCs. In addition, the language in the contemplated fee agreement does not constitute a proper withdrawal under RPC 1.15. If you do withdraw, you must comply with RPC 1.15(d). Doing nothing does not comply with RPC 1.3 or 1.15. An attorney has an obligation to represent the client diligently until the attorney has properly withdrawn under RPC 1.15.