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in the top 10 suggestions on how to avoid malpractice, the American Bar Assoc ranks #6 as doing work for friends/family - please see:
The reason for this is it often leads to less documentation of the case due to the "informal" relationship which can then lead to misunderstandings, which can then result in a cause of action for negligence, or legal malpractice.
Whenever an attorney gives specific advice after reviewing a person's particular factual situation, that is "advice" versus information. The failure to execute a fee agreement does not negate that definition, nor does the issue of payment/nonpayment.
An article from the Bar also issued years ago a newsletter - Beware the Cocktail Party Client - here
there is no Good Samaritan rule for lawyers; if you volunteer negligent advice, you are liable for it"
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Here is a link to the bar association's legal referral site:
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