This type of case comes up fairly frequently. A lawyer was charged with failing to make truthful communications to his client. After the client’s medical malpractice case was time-barred, the lawyer informed her that he was looking for an expert. He was not looking for an expert witness. Instead, he was aware that the case was time-barred and that no action could be taken.
The lawyer was also reprimanded for failing to obtain the client’s signature on a written fee agreement allowing him to collect a contingent fee. The Hearing Board cited violations of Rule 1.5 (contingent fee), Rule 1.4(b) (failing to keep the client reasonably informed) and Rule 8.4 (misleading statements to the client).