Self Help Terms




MEGAN ZAVIEH (“Attorney”) and Client (hereinafter “you” or “Client”) hereby agree that Attorney will provide legal services to Client on the terms set forth below.


  1. CONDITIONS.  This Agreement will not take effect, and Attorney will have no obligation to provide legal services, until Client agrees to these terms either electronically or in writing and pays the fee required herein.


  1. SCOPE OF SERVICES.  Client hires Attorney to consult with Client regarding an investigation and prosecution of disciplinary charges by the State Bar of California regarding Client’s conduct.  Client shall provide details of the investigation to Attorney at the time of retention.  If Attorney determines following receipt of these details that Attorney may not, for any reason, proceed with the representation, Attorney shall promptly notify Client of this determination and refund the fee paid by Client.


Attorney will provide those legal services reasonably required to assist Client in Client’s self-representation before the Office of the Chief Trial Counsel of the State Bar of California and the State Bar Court.  Attorney’s services do not include representation before those entities, but rather encompass an associated counsel position supporting Client’s self-representation.  To the extent that Attorney is aware of information related to the matter which is not simultaneously communicated to Attorney and Client, Attorney will take reasonable steps to keep Client informed of progress.  Attorney will further take reasonable steps to respond to Client’s inquiries.  If a court action is filed, Attorney will provide legal services as described herein to Client through trial and post-trial motions.  This Agreement does not cover legal services or representation on appeal or in execution proceedings after judgment.  Separate arrangements must be agreed to for those services. Services in any matter not described above will require a separate written agreement.


Attorney’s services are not billed on an hourly basis; the flat fee covers the time spent by Attorney on the contracted services regardless of the total number of hours spent.


  1. CLIENT’S DUTIES.  Client agrees to be truthful with Attorney, to cooperate, to keep Attorney informed of any information or developments which may come to Client’s attention, to abide by this Agreement, to pay Attorney’s bills on time, and to keep Attorney advised of Client’s address, telephone number, email address and whereabouts.  Client will provide Attorney with all necessary information and documents required for Attorney to complete the agreed-upon services.


  1. FEE.  Client agrees to pay Attorney a flat fee of $3,500.00 for Attorney’s services spanning the period from at the earliest filing of the Notice of Disciplinary Charges through at the latest the time that the mandatory settlement conference ordered before trial has been held.  Client agrees to pay Attorney a flat fee of $5,500.00 for Attorney’s services from the time spanning conclusion of the mandatory settlement conference before trial and ending at the time the Hearing Department submits its recommendation on discipline.  The fee and related services has been indicated by Client in the purchase form executed following this Agreement.

This fee is fixed and does not depend on the amount of work performed or the results obtained. Client acknowledges that this fee is negotiated and is not set by law. Client further acknowledges Client’s right to require that this fee be held in a designated attorney-client trust account until the fee has been earned. Pursuant to California Rule of Professional Conduct 1.15(b), Client agrees that this fee may be deposited in Attorney’s operating account; Client further agrees that the fee is earned in its entirety upon Attorney’s submission of the pre-trial statement to the State Bar Court, no matter the extent to which further work is required to complete the services under this Agreement.

Either party may terminate the representation at any time, subject to Attorney’s obligations under the Rules of Professional Conduct and the approval of the court if the matter is in litigation. If the representation is terminated before Attorney has provided all legal services described in this Agreement, Client may be entitled to a refund of all or part of the flat fee based on the value of the legal services performed prior to termination.


  1. MEDIATION CLAUSE. If a dispute arises out of or relates to any aspect of this Agreement between Attorney and Client, or the breach thereof, and if the dispute cannot be settled through negotiation, Attorney and Client agree to first try in good faith to settle the dispute by private mediation or fee mediation provided by local bar association programs before resorting to arbitration, litigation, or any other dispute resolution procedure.  The cost of such mediation shall be borne equally by the parties, unless otherwise stipulated in a settlement agreement between the parties.


  1. ATTORNEYS’ FEES CLAUSE. The prevailing party in any action or proceeding arising out of or to enforce any provision of this Agreement, with the exception of a fee arbitration or mediation under Business and Professions Code Sections 6200-6206, will be awarded reasonable attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in that action or proceeding, or in the enforcement of any judgment or award rendered.


  1. DISCHARGE AND WITHDRAWAL.  Client may discharge Attorney at any time.  Attorney may withdraw with Client’s consent or for good cause.  Good cause includes Client’s breach of this Agreement, lack of communication from Client for more than 7 days during which time Attorney has actively sought to reach Client via more than one means (such as email and telephone), refusal to cooperate or to follow Attorney’s advice on a material matter or any fact or circumstance that would render Attorney’s continuing representation unlawful or unethical.  When Attorney’s services conclude, all unpaid charges will immediately become due and payable.  After services conclude, Attorney will, upon Client’s request, deliver Client’s file, and property in Attorney’s possession, whether or not Client has paid for all services.


  1. DISCLAIMER OF GUARANTEE.  Nothing in this Agreement and nothing in Attorney’s statements to Client will be construed as a promise or guarantee about the outcome of the matter.  Attorney makes no such promises or guarantees. Attorney’s comments about the outcome of the matter are expressions of opinion only.


  1. ENTIRE AGREEMENT.  This Agreement contains the entire agreement of the parties.  No other agreement, statement, or promise made on or before the effective date of this Agreement will be binding on the parties.


  1. SEVERABILITY IN EVENT OF PARTIAL INVALIDITY.  If any provision of this Agreement is held in whole or in part to be unenforceable for any reason, the remainder of that provision and of the entire Agreement will be severable and remain in effect.


  1. MODIFICATION BY SUBSEQUENT AGREEMENT.  This Agreement may be modified by subsequent agreement of the parties only by an instrument in writing signed by both of them, or an oral agreement only to the extent that the parties carry it out.


  1. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Agreement will govern all legal services performed by Attorney on behalf of Client commencing with the date Attorney first performed services.  The date at the beginning of this Agreement is for reference only.  Even if this Agreement does not take effect, Client will be obligated to pay Attorney the reasonable value of any services Attorney may have performed for Client.