|

Termination of engagement by the lawyer, C3S53 CPRA

Section 53, Canon III

SECTION 53. Termination of engagement by the lawyer. – A lawyer shall terminate the lawyer-client engagement only for good cause and upon written notice, in any of the following cases:
(a) When the client pursues an illegal or immoral course of conduct in connection with the engagement;
(b) When the client insists that the lawyer pursue conduct that is violative of these Canons and rules;
(c) When the lawyer’s inability to work with a co-counsel will not promote the best interest of the client;
(d) When the moral predisposition or the mental or physical condition of the lawyer renders it difficult to carry out the engagement effectively;
(e) When the client deliberately fails to pay the fees for the lawyer’s services, fails to comply with the retainer agreement, or can no longer be found despite diligent efforts;
(f) When the lawyer is elected or appointed to public office;
(g) Other similar cases. (2023 Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability or CPRA)

1. Termination of engagement by the lawyer

a. Grounds for termination of engagement by a lawyer

Lawyers are required to “terminate the lawyer-client engagement only for good cause and upon written notice, in any of the following cases”:

1) When the client pursues an illegal or immoral course of conduct in connection with the engagement;

2) When the client insists that the lawyer pursue conduct that is violative of these Canons and rules;

3) When the lawyer’s inability to work with a co-counsel will not promote the best interest of the client;

4) When the moral predisposition or the mental or physical condition of the lawyer renders it difficult to carry out the engagement effectively;

5) When the client deliberately fails to pay the fees for the lawyer’s services, fails to comply with the retainer agreement, or can no longer be found despite diligent efforts;

6) When the lawyer is elected or appointed to public office;

7) Other similar cases.

1) Client pursues illegal or immoral course of conduct

Lawyers should terminate the lawyer-client engagement when “the client pursues an illegal or immoral course of conduct in connection with the engagement.”

2) Client insists that lawyer pursue conduct violative of CPRA

Lawyers are duty-bound to follow the CPRA. Thus, lawyers are required to terminate the lawyer-client engagement if clients insist that the lawyers pursue conduct or an objective that would result in CPRA violations. While lawyers owe fidelity and loyalty to clients, it should not be to the extent that it will result in breaking the rules. After all, lawyers are first and foremost, officers of the court.

3) Inability to work with a co-counsel

The client’s best interest should be given priority. Thus, lawyers who are unable to work well with a co-counsel should terminate their lawyer-client engagement to “promote the best interest of the client.”

4) Moral predisposition or the mental or physical condition of the lawyer

Lawyers should terminate the lawyer-engagement if it difficult to carry out the engagement effectively due to any of the following:

1) Moral predisposition;

2) Mental condition; or

3) Physical condition.

5) Client deliberately fails to pay fees, comply with the retainer agreement, or can no longer be found

Lawyers should terminate the engagement when:

1) The client deliberately fails to pay the fees for the lawyer’s services;

2) The client fails to comply with the retainer agreement; or

3) The client can no longer be found despite diligent efforts.

6) Lawyer is elected or appointed to public office

The lawyer-client relationship may be terminated when lawyers are elected or appointed to public office.

In general, lawyers in government service are prohibited from engaging in the private practice of law subject to certain exceptions.

See related:

Lawyers in government service; conflict of interest, C3S21 CPRA

7) Other similar cases.

The above-mentioned list is not exhaustive as it provides for other similar cases.

It is submitted that a client who has threatened or actually committed a crime against a lawyer may be considered as a similar case. Of course, this would be decided on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the extent that such can be proven.

References

Canon III, 2023 Code of Professional Responsibility

Similar Posts