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e-CFR data is current as of January 14, 2021

Title 32Subtitle AChapter VISubchapter GPart 776Subpart B → §776.24

Title 32: National Defense
Subpart B—Rules of Professional Conduct

§776.24   Fees.

(a) A covered USG attorney shall not accept any salary, fee, compensation, or other payments or benefits, directly or indirectly, other than Government compensation, for services provided in the course of the covered USG attorney's official duties or employment.

(b) A covered USG attorney shall not accept any salary or other payments as compensation for legal services rendered, by that covered USG attorney in a private capacity, to a client who is eligible for assistance under the DoN Legal Assistance Program, unless so authorized by the JAG. This rule does not apply to Reserve or Retired judge advocates not then serving on extended active-duty.

(c) A Reserve or Retired judge advocate, whether or not serving on extended active-duty, who has initially represented or interviewed a client or prospective client concerning a matter as part of the attorney's official Navy or Marine Corps duties, shall not accept any salary or other payments as compensation for services rendered to that client in a private capacity concerning the same general matter for which the client was seen in an official capacity, unless so authorized by the JAG.

(d) Covered non-USG attorneys may charge fees. Fees shall be reasonable. Factors considered in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the following:

(1) The time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly;

(2) The likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the attorney;

(3) The fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;

(4) The amount involved and the results obtained;

(5) The time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances;

(6) The nature and length of the professional relationship with the client;

(7) The experience, reputation, and ability of the attorney or attorneys performing the services; and

(8) Whether the fee is fixed or contingent.

(e) When the covered non-USG attorney has not regularly represented the client, the basis or rate of the fee shall be communicated to the client, preferably in writing, before or within a reasonable time after commencing the representation.

(f) A fee may be contingent on the outcome of the matter for which the service is rendered, except in a matter in which a contingent fee is prohibited by paragraph (a)(7) of this section or other law. A contingent fee agreement shall be in writing and shall state the method by which the fee is to be determined, including the percentage or percentages that shall accrue to the covered non-USG attorney in the event of settlement, trial or appeal, litigation and other expenses to be deducted from the recovery, and whether such expenses are to be deducted before or after the contingent fee is calculated. Upon conclusion of a contingent fee matter, the covered non-USG attorney shall provide the client with a written statement stating the outcome of the matter and, if there is a recovery, showing the remittance to the client and the method of its determination.

(g) A covered non-USG attorney shall not enter into an arrangement for, charge, or collect a contingent fee for representing an accused in a criminal case.

(h) A division of fees between covered non-USG attorneys who are not in the same firm may be made only if:

(1) The division is in proportion to the services performed by each attorney or, by written agreement with the client, each attorney assumes joint responsibility for the representation;

(2) The client is advised of and does not object to the participation of all the attorneys involved; and

(3) The total fee is reasonable.

(i) Covered Non-USG Attorneys. Paragraphs (d) through (h) of this section apply only to private civilian attorneys practicing in proceedings conducted under the cognizance and supervision of the JAG. The primary purposes of paragraphs (d) through (h) of this section are not to permit the JAG to regulate fee arrangements between civilian attorneys and their clients but to provide guidance to covered USG attorneys practicing with non-USG attorneys and to supervisory attorneys who may be asked to inquire into alleged fee irregularities. Absent paragraphs (d) through (h) of this section, such supervisory attorneys have no readily available standard against which to compare allegedly questionable conduct of a civilian attorney.

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