For the past several yearsnumerous individuals have wanted to hire our firm ro pursue one or more persons/companies as a result of alleged wrong-doings regarding various types of securities, including oil and gas investments. In accepting the representation f those individuals it was important for them to clearly understand the effects of one law firm representing many plaintiffs. Ethics are the key. We think the following information – although not all inclusive – will help someone who finds himself or herself as one of the numerous individuals or plaintiffs in a potential lawsuit. It’s important that clients understand and appreciate the unique factors that arise when one firm agrees to represent many plaintiffs:
1. -All Attorney-Client Agreements should be in writing;
2. -The Agreement should clearly describe the scope of services that the law firm will provide all of the plaintiffs;
3. -The plaintiffs must know that their communication (in any form) with the law firm most likely will be shared with other plaintiffs for the benefit of all plaintiffs. For that to take place, each plaintiff must consent (in writing) to the sharing of communication;
4. -Details of the legal fees and expenses which will be charged to each plaintiff should be provided;
5. -If one or more plaintiffs do not comply with the Agreement, the law firm shall withdraw from representing those plaintiffs and continue representing the remaining plaintiffs;
6. -All the plaintiffs have a common interest in the law suit;
7. -And importantly, the allocation of any recovery should be in direct relation to how much each plaintiff has invested in the case.
Over the years we have found that conforming to these protocols has served our clients well.
Knowledge is power.
Mark A. Alexander
Addison, Texas 75001