Lawyeringlaw.com Tip of the Month

Tip for March 2010

Protect yourself by sending disengagement letters

Generally, completion of the client's objective ends the attorney-client relationship.  However, in terms of malpractice avoidance, a lawyer's final report or "disengagement letter" to the client - advising the client of the completed objective and the resultant termination of the relationship - is prudent practice.  Such a letter not only will serve to document the discharge of the lawyer's duty in the event of a dispute, but it should also signal to the client, in concrete terms, that the attorney-client relationship has ended.  Sometimes such letters help to establish that a statute of limitations in a legal malpractice case has expired.  At the very least, it will help clarify any misunderstanding about whether the attorney-client relationship has ended.