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Robert E. CooperWhite Arnold & Dowd, Birmingham, Alabama

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Implied A-C Relationship Not Found

Saturday, November 24, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Tom Jensen
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Plaintiff sought legal representation relating to alleged counsel errors in handling an underlying suit pertaining to mining claims in Nevada that was dismissed on SOL grounds. It claimed an attorney-client relationship existed earlier in time, such that counsel's error caused loss of the claim. Trial court granted counsel's summary judgment motion finding no A-C relationship existed during the period suit inception was required. The ruling was affirmed in Target Strike, Inc. v. Strasburger & Price LLP, 2018 WL 6040022 (Tex. App. Nov. 19, 2018). Client contended an implied A-C relationship existed before the actual retainer agreement was signed, meaning that the relationship existed in time timely to file suit in the underlying claim. Court recognized that while the relationship can be created before actual retainer, there must be evidence both parties intended to create an attorney-client relationship. One party's subjective belief is insufficient to raise a question of fact to defeat summary judgment. Here client failed to provide any specific statements or actions by counsel from which an attorney-client relationship could be implied. Client's statement that counsel represented "by word and by conduct" that he represented client was his subjective belief about the existence of an attorney-client relationship. However, the record did not support "some manifestation that both parties intended to create an attorney-client relationship."        

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