This post is inspired by a Quora question that I answered. Q. Can I save money by preparing a contract for my lawyer to review?
A. No. Here is an explanation of why not.
Clients sometimes think that if they do the work to prepare the first draft of an agreement, they can save money because a lawyer will need less time to complete the agreement.
Once in a while, when I send an engagement letter, the prospective client wants to add confidentiality provisions to protect its trade secrets. The following is the explanation that I provide as to why such provisions – let alone a separate nondisclosure agreement (NDA) – are not required in an attorney’s engagement letter.
California Business and Professions Code Section 6068 specifies the fundamental obligations of an attorney. Subsection (e)(1) states that each attorney must “maintain inviolate the confidence, and at every peril to himself or herself to preserve the secrets, of his or her client.” (Emphasis added.) Attorneys in other states have similar obligations.