Declination Letters: The Anti-Engagement

DRI's The Whisper



By now, we are all familiar with the need to clearly define the scope of representation for new engagements. Well-articulated boundaries of representation, preferably laid out in an engagement letter or other contractual document, provide clients with a clear picture of what tasks the attorney will and will not undertake on the clients' behalf. What many of us forget, however, in the frenzy of our daily routines, is the importance of also making certain that a prospective client understands when no attorney-client relationship has been formed. Oftentimes, sending declination letters to prospective clients for whom no representation is undertaken prevents future malpractice issues before they have the opportunity to arise. 

Reprinted with permission from The Whisper, Volume 7 Issue 1. Published by DRI 2011.