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Chris T., JD
Chris T., JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 4829
Experience:  Experienced in both state and federal court.
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In Michigan my ex lawyer alleges an oral contract with me,

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In Michigan my ex lawyer alleges an oral contract with me, is it subject to the Statute of frauds or any other statute?

TexLawyer :

Good evening. I'll be assisting you with your question.

TexLawyer :

Yes, any contract is subject to the statute of frauds.

TexLawyer :

Can you tell me a little more about the agreement?

TexLawyer :

Let me be more specific, any contract for the sale of goods is subject to the statute of frauds.

Customer: There was no agreement in writing he is alleging a breach of an oral contract...I would like to use the Michigan statute of frauds
Customer: To dti
Customer: To strike down his motion for summary disposition
Customer: Or some other statute that pertains to services or oral contracts
TexLawyer :

Was there a length of time given for your attorney client relationship?

Customer: No
Customer: Why?
TexLawyer :

I ask because one of the types of contracts that must be in writing are contracts that are over a year in duration.

Customer: Right no it was not over one year. What about statutes or case law relating to oral contracts?
TexLawyer :

The only Michigan statute that requires contracts to be in writing is the statute I've provided above. Let me look into a few things. It will only take a moment.

TexLawyer :

I'll look for something, but I know that generally speaking, oral contracts for services are binding.

Customer: Ok what constitutes an oral contract?
Customer: What are the elements and how does one determine that a meeting of the minds has occurred.
TexLawyer :

The elements of an oral contract are no different than a written contract. They are 1) offer; 2) acceptance; 3) consideration, 4) mutuality of obligation

TexLawyer :

Mutuality of obligation is another way to state "meeting of the minds."

TexLawyer :

It is basically that both parties agree and understand what they are agreeing to. They must be agreeing to the same thing at the same time.

Customer: What constitutes a breach?
TexLawyer :

So if you and the attorney did not agree to the same thing, or at least have the same understanding of the agreement, there was not an enforceable contract.

TexLawyer :

A breach is one party not living up to the terms. What is a breach largely depends on the contract.

Customer: Let's say he did not follow my instructions for his dealing with the opposing counsel?
Customer: And subsequently ran up his fees?
TexLawyer :

In a situation like that, you would likely have an argument against those fees, as they were not authorized by you and, if there had been in a contract, they would not have been within its scope.

Customer: Ahhh, is their a law, statute or case(s) that cover this?
TexLawyer :

Also, you can argue that there was not a contract because there was never a meeting of the minds. You could argue that you understood the agreement to hold that you would be allowed to determine how to deal with opposing counsel.

Customer: Nice, what if he wrote that he discussed his & my fee arrangement with opposing counsel on three separate occasions without my being present would this potentially be considered a breach of the attorney client privilege ?
TexLawyer :

Potentially, yes. Anything you say to your attorney that is related to your case is protected communication.

Customer: Would I be able to request an evidentiary hearing to explore this potentiality?
TexLawyer :

You could. You could also make a report to the state bar.

TexLawyer :

Just so you don't get your expectations up, you should not expect much to come of that breach. A court would likely view it as a "harmless" breach.

Customer: Unless I could show that it altered his disposition regarding how he would prosecute the balance of the case?
TexLawyer :

In theory, yes, but I would advise against it. You should focus your arguments where they will do the most good: attacking the supposed oral contract. You don't want to dilute your arguments with rabbit trails that are very unlikely to pan out in your favor.

Customer: Ok one final question if he filled a motion on my behalf and did not defend that motion before the judge but in fact "torpedod" it before the judge and then after the court appearance supplied me with a michigan appeals court case that supported the motion would this be considered negligence
TexLawyer :

Potentially, yes. It could possibly be attorney malpractice.

TexLawyer :

It really depends on the nature of the hearing and what impact it had on the overall outcome of the case.

Customer: Ok, Let me elaborate, I asked him if there was case law supplying throwing out from the custodial home my ex-new livin lover
Customer: He said their maybe.
TexLawyer :

If there was case law clearly supporting your position and he failed to discover it, that is legal malpractice.

Customer: During the hearing he said to the Judge unprompted that the JOD doesn't have a non cohabitation clause
Customer: And opposing counsel agreed and then the judge agreed so the judge moved on the 2nd part of the motion regarding a reduction in spousal support
Customer: Two days later he emails me a case from the michigan court of appeals that supports the judge has the say in who can be present in the home during parenting time.
Customer: Even without a non cohabitation clause
TexLawyer :

OK. If there was case law clearly supporting your position, you have a malpractice claim that is, at a minimum, worth exploring.

TexLawyer :

I don't think I will be able to make a fair evaluation just based on a few chats.

Customer: Good thank you how doI save this dialogue?
TexLawyer :

It will always be accessible through your profile. It won't disappear once this chat is over.

TexLawyer :

Can I do anything else for you?

Customer: Perhaps tomorrow I need to file an anwer to his motion for summary disposition or a motion to stike. How may I chat again with you?
TexLawyer :

After you "rate" this answer, you can post a new question directly to me using this link:

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