This recent case involved a dispute between attorneys over failure to pay a lawyer referral fee. The attorneys never obtained signed written consent from the client for the referral fee, as required by Rule 1.5 of the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct. Nonetheless, the attorney who was allegedly owed the fees filed a lawsuit, seeking damages for breach of fiduciary duty (under a joint venture theory) and fraud. The First District affirmed dismissal, holding that the breach of fiduciary duty claim failed because the “joint venture” was based on an unenforceable agreement. The fraud claim was time barred.
(This is for informational purposes and is not legal advice.)