We’ve blogged about the role of legal translation services in marketing legal services to non-English-speaking clients. One area ripe for legal malpractice and liability suits is the fine line between giving legal advice in an attorney/client relationship and simply providing legal information (aka, the “cocktail party” conversation). With the rise in electronic communications and social media, which equates to a general decrease in personal contact, there is an ever-increasing risk for a misunderstanding of whether or not an attorney/client relationship has been established.
Traditionally, the attorney/client relationship begins with the issuing of an engagement letter, which sets forth the duties and obligations of the attorney toward the client, along with such details as pricing and compensation. However, because of the increasing risk for misunderstanding, many attorneys are now using a non-engagement letter. The non-engagement letter does the exact opposite of the engagement letter: it tells the person that he or she is not one’s client and advises them to seek representation elsewhere. More so, with an increase in foreign-language speaking clients, all letters (both engagement and non-engagement) should be accompanied by a foreign language translation.