Common Provisions in Attorney Fee Agreements

The Legal Ethics Committee Section presents

Common Provisions in Attorney Fee Agreements 

Permitted or Problematic? 

Date Tuesday, September 19, 2023
MCLE Registration 11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Virtual Program 12:00 - 1:15 p.m.
MCLE 1 Hour of Legal Ethics


Kendra Basner
O'Rielly & Roche LLP
Cassidy E. Chivers
Barron & Newburger, P.C.
Carl W. Chamberlin

Including improper provisions in attorney-client fee agreements (aka engagement letters) can have dire consequences, ranging from attorney discipline to disqualification to unenforceable terms and loss of fees. While the State Bar website contains sample fee agreement provisions that are generally permissible depending on the circumstances, every lawyer must take care before including other provisions that are, or may be, inconsistent with the California Rules of Professional Conduct. Join members of BASF’s Legal Ethics Committee for a review of some commonly misunderstood or misused clauses that can lead to trouble. 


  • State Bar Advisory Fee Agreement Forms – To Be Used With a Caveat
  • Business and Professions Code Sections 6147-6148
  • Limitations on Client Authority Over Objectives and Settlement
  • Provisions Regarding Fees, Including Referring to Fees as Nonrefundable
  • Provisions Regarding Withdrawal
  • Provisions Regarding Client Files and Other Client Property
  • Other Problematic Terms 
Section Chair
Carl Chamberlin, California Court of Appeal

Event Code: G231631

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MCLE Notice
To receive MCLE credit, you must sign in during the designated MCLE registration period. This activity is approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California. BASF is a certified provider: Provider #103

People with disabilities and/or special requests should contact BASF regarding reasonable accommodations.

9/19/2023 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM
Online only CA

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