Our team is excited to start work on your behalf. The first step is for you to accept the terms set forth in this agreement. It grants you protections that enable us to begin work on your case, and outlines the scope of our relationship. It does not let us charge you anything.
By accepting these terms, you and Atticus agree that:
1. Atticus is a law firm. Our service is designed to help you navigate the initial phase of your legal case. Our goal is to help you assess your options, choose the right path, and — if appropriate — find the right lawyer to represent you going forward.
2. Once you accept the terms of this agreement and provide Atticus with information about your case, you will be a prospective client of Atticus. At this stage, Atticus is not yet your lawyer: we have not agreed to represent you, and we are not legally responsible for your case.
3. Later, if you choose to hire a lawyer that Atticus recommends, Atticus may become your lawyer and assume joint legal responsibility for your case — or we may not. In either event, the terms of this agreement will continue to govern our relationship. If Atticus does assume joint responsibility for your case, it will be indicated in a letter provided to you at the time you hire a lawyer. (Typically, this is based solely on which state you live in — not the quality of your case or anything else.) Regardless, we will remain available to you and ready to help, and we encourage you to contact us at any time.
4. Atticus will not charge you any fee for our services. You will not get a bill from us, ever — no matter how much work we do on your behalf or how many questions you ask.
5. Atticus will protect your privacy. We will never sell your information, and we will not share it except in the very limited circumstances necessary to represent you (outlined below). Any data we store will be protected using modern security standards, and we will work vigilantly to safeguard it.
6. Atticus will be an ethical partner. We will give candid and honest advice, and treat you with respect.
7. You will be honest, forthcoming, and responsive. You will share key information and documents with us as needed, keep us informed of relevant developments, and always tell the truth. You will respond promptly when we reach out. (Particularly if your case is serious or urgent, it’s critical we be able to reach you quickly.)
8. Atticus’s offering is limited: We do not provide full-scope legal representation. (Instead, we will try to help you determine what kind of legal help you need, then find you the right lawyer to provide it.) We can never guarantee a particular result or outcome. Until and unless Atticus agrees to represent you, we disclaim all responsibility for the outcome, and it is your responsibility to monitor any applicable deadlines and limitations periods.
9. If you hire a lawyer that Atticus recommends, the lawyer will likely pay Atticus a customary lawyer-to-lawyer referral fee (a percentage of the money the lawyer earns from representing you). This is standard industry practice, and does not impact how much you pay: our share is taken out of your lawyer’s earnings (not added on top) and lawyers are prohibited by law from passing this amount on to you. This type of fee-sharing is the only way Atticus makes money and funds our service. It means we can achieve a win-win: Atticus is free for you but still able to provide powerful help and advice. If we expect to earn a fee, the exact percentage will be indicated in a letter provided to you at the time you hire a lawyer.
10. If you speak with or hire a lawyer that Atticus recommends, the lawyer will share regular updates and information about your case with Atticus so that Atticus can monitor your case’s progress. You grant consent for the sharing of such updates and information, including privileged and confidential information.
11. Atticus will share your information with others under limited circumstances. We may share selected details of your case with prospective lawyers as we seek to secure you high-quality legal representation — including after your case is underway (for example, to secure representation for an appeal). We may store information about your case indefinitely with our technology partner, Atticus Labs, which generates internal analysis and reports (but is prohibited from selling or revealing your data to anyone). And under rare circumstances, we may disclose your information if legally required to do so — for example, in response to a subpoena.
12. Atticus reserves the right to represent any other client. Under the rules of professional conduct that govern lawyers, if we later agree to represent you, Atticus will not subsequently represent a client in a matter substantially related to this one if their interests are materially adverse to yours. Nor will we subsequently represent a client if, by virtue of representing you, we have received confidential information from you that is relevant and material to that client’s case. In all other cases, you agree that we may represent any other client, including in litigation. You acknowledge that your consent for such representations is fully informed and freely given, despite the fact that it is granted in advance and without knowledge of the nature and scope of the adversity that could develop.
13. Both you and Atticus are free to end our relationship at any time. You are not bound to follow our recommendations, and can fire us at will. Likewise, Atticus may refuse requests we consider unethical or ill-advised, and can withdraw from our relationship at any time and for any reason permitted by law.
14. Both you and Atticus agree to accept email in lieu of physical mail as a means of delivering any important documents and notices. As a technology-driven firm, much of our communication will take place online.
15. Both you and Atticus commit to binding arbitration in the event of a dispute between us. (Arbitration uses an appointed neutral arbitrator instead of a judge or jury, follows fewer formal procedures than court, eliminates some rights and protections for both parties, and rarely allows for appeal or court review.) Arbitration will be conducted by FairClaims where possible, or else by JAMS. It will take place online or by telephone where possible, or else in Los Angeles County. The Federal Arbitration Act will govern this agreement, and judgment upon any award may be entered in any court holding jurisdiction. In any dispute concerning fees and costs, you will have the right to elect non-binding arbitration under a program administered by the State Bar of California before such disputes will be subject to binding arbitration.
16. Both you and Atticus accept that this agreement will be governed by certain basic principles: This agreement represents our entire agreement with you at this point in time. This agreement will be governed by California law. If we provided any legal services to you prior to entering into this agreement, they will be subject to the terms of this agreement moving forward. This agreement can only be modified if both parties agree to the change in writing. If for any reason a provision of this agreement is held to be invalid or unenforceable, all other provisions remain valid and enforceable.
At the bottom of many websites, you'll find a small disclaimer: "We are not a law firm and are not qualified to give legal advice." If you see this, run the other way. These people can't help you: they're prohibited by law from giving meaningful advice, recommending specific lawyers, or even telling you whether you need a lawyer at all. Most make money by selling advertisements or hawking your personal information to the highest bidder.
There's no disclaimer here: Atticus is a law firm, and we are qualified to give legal advice. We can answer your most pressing questions, make clear recommendations, and search far and wide to find the right lawyer for you. It's not easy: being a licensed law firm subjects us to complex regulations and requires painstaking work. But it's worth it, because it means we can truly help our clients as they take on life's biggest challenges. Others can't.
Two important things to note: If we give you legal advice, it will be through a lawyer on our staff communicating with you directly. (Don't make important decisions about your case based solely on this or any other website.) And if we take you on as a client, it will be through a document you sign. (No attorney-client relationship arises from using this site or calling us.) If any of this isn't clear, please reach out: we're always happy to explain more.