The final decision on appeal in Lawrence v. Miller was just released, where the New York Court of Appeals upheld the $44 million contingency fee and reversed an intermediate appellate court decision that had overturned the fee. The casebook covers this opinion in Chapter 3, beginning at page 280.
From the New York Law Journal:
A contingency fee agreement that netted Graubard Miller $44 million for five months’ work was valid and must be adhered to, the state Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday.
The law firm took substantial risks by making the agreement with Alice Lawrence in January 2005, and the fact that the real estate matter on which it had long represented Lawrence unexpectedly settled in May 2005 did not make it unconscionable, the court decided.
The error below, from p. 28 of the Teacher’s Manual is that he correct answer should be (B) — this is not a unauthorized practice of law. The explanation is correct and provides the rationale for an answer of B. The purpose of the question is to highlight the Rule 5.5(d)(1) exception for in-house counsel, as well as the difference between Rule 5.5(d)(1) and Rule 5.5(c) which requires that the out of jurisdiction practice be temporary in order to qualify for one of its exceptions to unauthorized paractice. Of course, if the in-house work does require “pro hac vice admission,” then the Rule 5.5(d)(1) does not apply unless the “lawyer is authorized by federal or other law or rule to provide [services] in [the] jurisdiction” per Rule 5.5(d)(2).
[Question 2-13, Casebook p. 58]
Does Joan commit UPL if she leaves F&I to become in-house counsel at Monolith, Inc., located in Sirius?
Even though this position is not temporary, and therefore does not fall under the exceptions in Rule 5.5(c), it does fall under the exception in Rule 5.5(d)(1) for services “provided to the lawyer’s employer or its organizational affiliates [that] are not services for which the forum requires pro hac vice admission.”
I am attaching Laurel Terry’s memo that analyzes the February 2013 Model Rules Amendments and updates the Casebook. BLOG_ENTRY_RE_2013_ABA_CHANGES
ABA Ethics 20/20 reports recommend changes to Model Rules of Professional Conduct – Legal Ethics Forum
Summary by Chief Reporter Andrew Perlman
Overview Report HERE. Go to the post above for links to each proposed model rule change and the rule-specific report.
Resolution 107A amended Model Rule 5.5 so that it expressly permits qualified foreign lawyers to serve as in-house counsel while based at their employers’ U.S. offices.
Resolution 107B amended the 2008 ABA Model Rule for Registration of In-House Counsel to bring foreign lawyers within the scope of that Rule.
Resolution 107C amended the ABA Model Rule on Pro Hac Vice Admission so that it provides guidance to judges who may be asked to grant pro hac vice admission to qualified foreign lawyers.
Resolution 107D amended Comment  to Rule 8.5 of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct so that it expressly allows a lawyer and client to specify a particular jurisdiction as the jurisdiction where the “predominant effect” of the lawyer’s conduct will occur for purposes of a choice of law analysis under Model Rule 8.5.