(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), a flat fee paid in advance for legal services may be paid into the operating account of a lawyer or law firm, provided that: until the lawyer has fully paid a flat fee, the lawyer is entitled only to the quantenmeruit or reasonable value of the services and must, upon request, provide an accounting.  Time data are invaluable in proving quantum menuit. However, in the case of a flat fee, hourly statements are not the last word on the fair value of the lawyer`s benefits, even if the work done every hour exceeded the flat fee. This is due to the fact that the client is not in an hourly agreement with the lawyer, but an agreement for the lawyer to complete the contractual services for a certain lump sum. If counsel did not completely before the termination, it is expected that counsel will not fully earn the lump sum fee. Tax: The tax is due and payable at the time of signing this Agreement, regardless of the results of David`s services. The fee is $250 and is not held in a trust account. A lawyer who accepts a flat fee for legal services must comply with Rule 1.15 (b) in order to avoid possible breaches of the loyalty manual. The first important point for lawyers who accept the lump sum fees under the new rules of professional conduct is that the lump sum agreements should be made in writing, regardless of the amount of the flat fee, since the lawyer must state in writing that the client could require that the lump sum be paid into a CTA and that the client is entitled to a refund of a portion of the lump sum that has not been earned. The lawyer must make these written disclosures for each lump sum agreement, so that the lawyer back up a written agreement in order to deposit the lump sum fees into the lawyer`s operating account for all lump sum cases if the lawyer intends to use the operating account. By adopting the new rules on professional behavior in November 2018, California has joined the vast majority of jurisdictions that require lawyers to deposit all client funds, including advanced legal fees, into a client trust account (CTA).
The previous 4-100 rule only required filing deposits for the costs of a CTA. Good practice has been the filing of preferential royalties in a CTA, since these “funds are partly owned by a client and, in part or potentially, by the member or law firm” and can be properly paid into a CTA in accordance with the old Rule 4-100 (A) (2).