nonengagement letter

A nonengagement letter is a letter written by an attorney to an individual who has had a conference with the attorney stating that the conference did not produce an agreement to represent the individual in a given case or matter.

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Attorneys sometimes write nonengagement letters following an initial conference because there have been cases in which individuals have sued lawyers for failure to represent their interests following such conferences. This is despite the fact that a formal attorney-client relationship never existed. The purpose of the letter is to indicate that the conference was only to explore the basic facts of a case, but that at the end of the conference, it was agreed by both parties that the attorney would not represent the individual.