ity of modest-income clients to obtain
vitally important legal representation. In
the interest of accessible legal services,
we express our hope that in cases where
a quantum meruit refund is appropriate,
Washington will give more serious consideration to the amount of financial risk
the attorney has assumed. NWL
Sound Legal, where
the U. S. immigration
the American Immigration
Lawyers Association (AILA) and
is chair-elect of the WSBA Solo
and Small Practice Section. He
can be reached at greg@puget-
soundlegal.net or 425-998-7046.
Deborah Niedermeyer focuses
her practice on immigration appeals and consumer protection. A
Northwest native, and graduate
of New York University School of
Law and Harvard College, she is
past chair and current member
of the Washington Chapter of the
AILA Professional Responsibility
and Consumer Protection Committee. She can be reached at atty@
niedermeyerlaw.net. This article
benefitted greatly from thoughtful
input from Pete Roberts, former
practice management advisor for
13 years with the WSBA Law Office
Management Assistance Program
(LOMAP), and by Reid F. Trautz,
director of the AILA Practice &
1. See, e.g., Paula Littlewood, “Rethinking Legal Education in a Changing Legal Profession,” Bar Notes, NWLawyer (Oct. 2013).
2. See, e.g., Pete Roberts, “Alternative Fee
Agreements: Are They Right for Your Practice?,” Practice Success 101, De Novo (Dec.
2011); see also, Littlewood, supra n. 1.
3. Matter of Connelly, 55 P3d 756, 762 (Ariz.
2002) (internal quotations omitted).
4. Scarlett Hunter, “Thinking Outside the
Billable Hour: Non-Traditional Fee Arrangements for Newer Attorneys,” De
Novo (Dec. 2011).
5. Roberts, supra n. 1.
6. RPC(f)( 1).
7. David Cameron Carr, “Attorney Fees: Five
Keys to Ethical Compliance,” GP Solo (Oct./
Nov. 2010), available at http://tinyurl.com/
cav5uq5 (last visited Jan. 15, 2014).
8. Matter of Connelly, 55 P3d at 762.
9. ABA Formal Opinion 11-458 (2011).
10. Supreme Court Atty. Disc. Bd. v. Vilmont,
812 N. W.2d 677 (2012).
12. Holmes v. Loveless, 122 Wn.App. 470, 478
( Wash. App. Div. 1 2004).
13. Forbes v. American Building Maintenance
Co., 148 Wn. App. 273, 291 ( Wash. App. Div.
3 2009); see also Cotton v. Kroneneberg,
111 Wn.App. 258, 272 (Wash.App. Div. 1
2002) (contracts which seemed fair at the
outset of the representation must be reevaluated in light of subsequent events).
14. See RPC 1. 16( 3).
15. Matter of O’Farrell, 942 N.E.2d 799, 804
(Ind. 2011); see also AFLAC, Inc. v. Williams, (Ga. 1994); Olsen v. City of Englewood, 867 P.2d 96 (Colo. App. 1993).
16. See, e.g., O’Farrell, 942 N.E.2d at 807;
Olsen, 867 P.2d at 98.
17. Forbes, 148 Wn. App. at 285.
18. Id . at 301.
19.Pete Roberts, “Finance: Timekeeping
by the Numbers,” Law Practice, Vol. 38,
No. 4, available at http://tinyurl.com/
c3ozaxr) (last visited Jan. 13, 2014).
20. See RPC 1. 5, cmt. 16
21. Gregory R. Hanthorn, “Ethical Principals
Applicable to Alternative Fee Arrangements and Related Areas” at 7 (presented
at ABA Section of Litigation 2012 Section
22. Matter of Van Camp, 171 Wn.2d 781, 805
23. Clients who are unable to read and write
in any language present special issues beyond the scope of this article.