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40. An attorney should not ignore known customs or practice of the bar of a particular court, even when the law permits, without giving opposing counsel timely notice.
41. An attorney should not attempt to compromise with the opposite party, without notifying his attorney, if practicable.
42. When attorneys jointly associated in a cause can not agree as to any matter vital to the interest of their client, the course to be pursued should be left to his determination. The client's decision should be cheerfully acquiesced in, unless the nature of the difference makes it impracticable for the attorney to coöperate heartily and effectively; in which event, it is his duty to ask to be discharged.
43. An attorney coming into a cause in which others are employed, should give notice as soon as practicable and ask for a conference; and if the association is objectionable to the attorney already in the cause, the other attorney should decline to take part, unless the first attorney is relieved.
44. An attorney ought not to engage in discussion or arguments about the merits of the case with the opposite party, without notice to his attorney.
45. Satisfactory relations between attorney and client are best preserved by a frank and explicit understanding at the outset, as to the amount of the attorney's compensation; and, where it is possible, this should always be agreed on in advance.
46. In general, it is better to yield something to a client's dissatisfaction at the amount of the fee, though the sum be reasonable, than to engage in a lawsuit to justify it, which ought always to be avoided, except as a last resort to prevent imposition or fraud.
47. Men, as a rule, over-estimate rather than undervalue the worth of their services, and attorneys in fixing their fees should avoid charges which unduly magnify the value of their advice and services, as well as those which practically belittle them. A client's ability to pay can never justify a charge for more than the service is worth; though his poverty may require a less charge in many instances, and sometimes none at all. 48. An attorney may charge a regular client, who entrusts him with all his business, less for a particular service than he would charge a casual client for like services. The element of uncertainty of compensation where a contingent fee is agreed on justifies higher charges than where compensation is assured.
49. In fixing fees the following elements should be considered: First -The time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to properly conduct the cause. SecondWhether the particular case will debar the attorney's appearance for others in cases likely to arise out of the transaction, and in which there is a reasonable expectation that the attorney would otherwise be employed; and herein of the loss of other business while employed in the particular case, and the antagonism with other clients growing out of the employ
ment. Third-The customary charges of the bar for similar services. Fourth-The real amount involved and the benefit resulting from the service. Fifth-Whether the compensation was contingent or assured. Sixth-Is the client a regular one, retaining the attorney in all his business? No one of these considerations is in itself controlling. They are mere guides in ascertaining what the service was really worth; and in fixing the amount it should never be forgotten that the profession is a branch of the administration of justice and not a mere money-getting trade.
50. Contingent fees may be contracted for; but they lead to many abuses, and certain compensation is to be preferred.
51. Casual and slight services should be rendered without charge by one attorney to another in his personal cause; but when the service goes beyond this an attorney may be charged as other clients. Ordinary advice, and services to the family of a deceased attorney, should be rendered without charge in most instances; and where the circumstances make it proper to charge, the fees should generally be less than in case of other clients.
52. Witnesses and suitors should be treated with fairness and kindness. When essential to the ends of justice to arraign their conduct or testimony, it should be done without villification or unnecessary harshness. Fierceness of manner and uncivil behavior can add nothing to the truthful dissection of a false witness' testimony, and often rob deserved strictures of proper weight.
53. It is the duty of the court and its officers to provide for the comfort of jurors. Displaying special concern for their comfort, and volunteering to ask favors for them, while they are present-such as frequent motions to adjourn trials, or take a recess, solely on the ground of the jury's fatigue, or hunger, the uncomfortableness of their seats, or the court room, and the like-should be avoided. Such intervention of attorneys, when proper, ought to be had privately with the court; whereby there will be no appearance of fawning upon the jury, nor ground for ill feeling of the jury towards court or opposite counsel, if such requests are denied. For like reasons, one attorney should never ask another, in the presence of the jury, to consent to its discharge or dispersion; and when such a request is made by the court, the attorneys, without indicating their preference, should ask to be heard after the jury withdraws.
54. An attorney ought never to converse privately with jurors about the case; and must avoid all unnecessary communication, even as to matters foreign to the cause, both before and during the trial. Any other course, no matter how blameless the attorney's motives, gives color for imputing evil designs, and often leads to scandal in the administration of justice.
55. An attorney assigned as counsel for an indigent prisoner ought not to ask to be excused for any light cause, and should always be a friend to the defenseless and oppressed.