Florida Bar Rule 4-15 does not require that an attorney's fee agreement be in writing. It does suggest that it is though.
Rule 4-15(e) provides:
Duty to Communicate Basis or Rate of Fee or Costs to Client. When the lawyer has not regularly represented the client, the basis or rate of the fee and costs shall be communicated to the client, preferably in writing, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation. A fee for legal services that is nonrefundable in any part shall be confirmed in writing and shall explain the intent of the parties as to the nature and amount of the nonrefundable fee. The test of reasonableness found in subdivision (b), above, applies to all fees for legal services without regard to their characterization by the parties.http://www.floridabar.org/divexe/rrtfb.nsf/FV/A8644F215162F9DE85257164004C0429
I do not see how an issue involving if the fee agreement was in writing or not would provide relief for your son. The fact that attorney continued to represent him may be. One would review the transcripts of the trial to determine what if any impact this may have upon his situation. When your son discusses the failure to communicate the plea offer with the appellate/post-conviction attorney he should advise them of this issue and have them review the court record to determine what use this may be.
The firing issue (like the failure to communicate a plea offer) seems to contain facts that are most likely not included in the trial court's record. If this is the case, they will most like have to be presented on a post-conviction basis.
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