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MCLE Test and Answer Sheet

Test No.87: Bonus Points  (September 2000 LA Lawyer)

Instructions for Obtaining MCLE Credits
The Los Angeles County Bar Association certifies that this activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1 hour.

1.Study the CLE article in this issue.

2.Answer the test questions by marking the appropriate boxes. Each question has only one answer. Photocopies of this answer sheet may be submitted; however, this form should not be enlarged or reduced.

3.Mail the answer sheet and the $15 testing fee ($20 for non-LACBA members) to:

Los Angeles Lawyer
P.O. Box 55020
Los Angeles, CA 90055 
Make checks payable to Los Angeles Lawyer.

4.You can also fill in the test form and submit it directly to LACBA by clicking "Submit." To submit your test answers online you will need to pay by credit card. After submitting your answers you will be presented with a screen requesting payment information. This information will be submitted in a secure mode which will allow you to safely transmit your credit card number over the Internet. If you prefer not to pay by credit card, please print this answer sheet and submit your responses by regular mail.

5.Within six weeks, Los Angeles Lawyer will return your test with the correct answers, a rationale for the correct answers, and a certificate verifying the CLE credit you earned through this self-assessment activity.

6.For future reference, please retain the CLE test materials returned to you.
Test Sheet 
Mark your answers to the test by clicking next to your choice.  All questions must be answered.  Each question has only one answer. This test is worth 1 hour of credit.*

1. The California Rules of Professional Conduct determine whether an attorney is entitled to collect a bonus fee.

2. Attorneys owe fiduciary duties to their clients in connection with the initial negotiation of a fee agreement.

3. Bonus fee provisions are more appropriate when:
A. The original fee proves too low for the services performed.
B. The attorney failed to accurately predict the scope of necessary legal services.
C. An extraordinary result has been attained.
D. The client acquiesces in the attorney's request for a bonus.

4. The concept of fee enhancement for attorneys who secure an outstanding result is new.

5. Federal courts do not allow bonus payments for the achievement of a favorable result.

6. An attorney may negotiate a fee that, by its terms, will exceed the attorney's customary hourly rate.

7. An attorney's failure to provide a client with a written fee agreement is a disciplinary offense.

8. An agreement providing for a bonus for an extraordinary result or a herculean effort is measured by:
A. Objective fairness.
B. A multifactor test.
C. Expert opinion.
D. The client's wishes.

9. The definition of an "unconscionable fee" is one that "shocks the conscience."

10. An agreement for a bonus fee need not be express.

11. "Value billing" permits the attorney to determine the amount of the fee at the end of the case, based on the result obtained.

12. During the course of a representation, the fee agreement may be renegotiated:
A. Only when the client initiates discussion of the subject of fees.
B. Only after the nature or scope of the representation has changed.
C. Only when the attorney acts in accord with his or her fiduciary duty toward the client.
D. None of the above.

13. Examples of the types of legal services that may justify a bonus fee arrangement include:
A. The representation of an organizational client anticipating an initial public offering, with the attorney accepting shares of stock as part of the fee arrangement.
B. The representation of a land development company in the acquisition of a conditional use permit.
C. The representation of a sports, entertainment, or literary figure in the negotiation of an employment contract.
D. All of the above.

14. An attorney is free to value bill a client whenever an exceptional result is obtained in the client's matter.

15. An attorney who is charging a fee based on a flat rate as opposed to an hourly fee may determine the fee based on a general feeling as to the value of the services performed.

16. The timing of the parties' agreement to a bonus fee arrangement is not relevant to whether or not the agreement is enforceable.

17. Although attorneys have legal obligations arising from a contractual relationship, they have the additional duty to make sure their clients understand the terms of their fee agreements.

18. The sophistication of the client is relevant to the determination of whether a fee agreement is fair and reasonable.
A. Always.
B. Sometimes.
C. Never.

19. When clients object to a fee, attorneys may distribute the disputed fee to themselves and leave the clients to pursue civil remedies.

20. An attorney who loses confidence in a client's matter and withdraws from representation may enforce a contingent fee agreement when a recovery is later obtained by the client acting in pro per or represented by successor counsel.

Address and Billing 
After submitting your answers you will be asked to enter your name, address, and payment information on the next screen. Once you have submitted the current form, you will be switched to a secure mode which will allow you to safely transmit your credit card number over the Internet.

If you do not wish to complete this transaction over the Internet you should print this page and send it to the address listed in Step 3 of the instructions at the top of this page.

Before hitting the "Submit" button please verify that all questions have been answered.

*The Los Angeles County Bar Association has been approved as a continuing legal education provider of Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by The State Bar of California. This self-assessment activity will qualify for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by The State Bar of California in the amount of one hour.

Los Angeles Lawyer
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