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California Business and Professions Code Section 6148

Legal Research Home > California Laws > Business and Professions Code > California Business and Professions Code Section 6148

6148.  (a) In any case not coming within Section 6147 in which it is
reasonably foreseeable that total expense to a client, including
attorney fees, will exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), the
contract for services in the case shall be in writing. At the time
the contract is entered into, the attorney shall provide a duplicate
copy of the contract signed by both the attorney and the client, or
the client's guardian or representative, to the client or to the
client's guardian or representative. The written contract shall
contain all of the following:
   (1) Any basis of compensation including, but not limited to,
hourly rates, statutory fees or flat fees, and other standard rates,
fees, and charges applicable to the case.
   (2) The general nature of the legal services to be provided to the
client.
   (3) The respective responsibilities of the attorney and the client
as to the performance of the contract.
   (b) All bills rendered by an attorney to a client shall clearly
state the basis thereof. Bills for the fee portion of the bill shall
include the amount, rate, basis for calculation, or other method of
determination of the attorney's fees and costs. Bills for the cost
and expense portion of the bill shall clearly identify the costs and
expenses incurred and the amount of the costs and expenses. Upon
request by the client, the attorney shall provide a bill to the
client no later than 10 days following the request unless the
attorney has provided a bill to the client within 31 days prior to
the request, in which case the attorney may provide a bill to the
client no later than 31 days following the date the most recent bill
was provided. The client is entitled to make similar requests at
intervals of no less than 30 days following the initial request. In
providing responses to client requests for billing information, the
attorney may use billing data that is currently effective on the date
of the request, or, if any fees or costs to that date cannot be
accurately determined, they shall be described and estimated.
   (c) Failure to comply with any provision of this section renders
the agreement voidable at the option of the client, and the attorney
shall, upon the agreement being voided, be entitled to collect a
reasonable fee.
   (d) This section shall not apply to any of the following:
   (1) Services rendered in an emergency to avoid foreseeable
prejudice to the rights or interests of the client or where a writing
is otherwise impractical.
   (2) An arrangement as to the fee implied by the fact that the
attorney's services are of the same general kind as previously
rendered to and paid for by the client.
   (3) If the client knowingly states in writing, after full
disclosure of this section, that a writing concerning fees is not
required.
   (4) If the client is a corporation.
   (e) This section applies prospectively only to fee agreements
following its operative date.
   (f) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2000.

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Last modified: March 17, 2014