Tue, Dec. 02, 2008

End of Engagement

CK - Washington.   When does the attorney-client relationship, specifically the contract with its warranties, end? On termination, expiration or other terms of the contract, of course. But how about the situation where a contract does not specify a term or its end?

There is no hard and fast rule, the German Supreme Court for Civil Matters, Bundesgerichtshof, in Karlsruhe ruled on November 13, 2008 in a decision published today in the matter IX ZR 24/06.

The inquiry for a court must be facts-centric, it held. The perception of the attorney when the matter is concluded is an important factor, the billing date usually not. The engagement of counsel is not susceptible to the establishment of general rules as to its termination. A court may determine that an engagement is terminated even if an objective fact-finder may conclude that additional activities by the attorney appear warranted.

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