Book Review – California Client Communications Manual: Sample Letters and Forms

California Client Communications Manual: Sample Letters and Forms, edited by Jon E. Heywood. Continuing Education of the Bar, 2012, 256 pages. 1 volume, loose-leaf, $169.00.

With more than 65 letters and form templates for drafting client correspondence, this single-volume practice guide from Continuing Education of the Bar is designed to facilitate effective attorney-client communication during the course of representation, helping attorneys comply with legal and ethical obligations to keep clients informed from initial contact through disposition. Each chapter contains time-saving form templates as well as a summary of applicable laws, issues, and considerations associated with the type of correspondence featured in the chapter. A “Comment” section follows each letter template, further clarifying its purpose and function.

California Client Communications Manual offers a greater variety of letter and form templates than similar, California-specific works centered on the attorney-client relationship, including Continuing Education of the Bar’s Fee Agreement Forms Manual and the Rutter Group’s California Practice Guide: Professional Responsibility. Furthermore, in contrast to the brief, general client letters found in the ABA’s Letters for Lawyers and Letters for Litigators titles, the templates in the California Client Communications Manual are detailed and cite specific California Rules of Professional Conduct and other applicable California laws.

California Client Communications Manual: Sample Letters and Forms is a comprehensive reference for drafting client-directed correspondence. Particularly valuable for new attorneys in solo practice who lack access to document archives typically available in established law firms, California Client Communications Manual is an appropriate and worthwhile purchase for California public law libraries and others with a practice-oriented collection.

Emily Bergfeld is a reference librarian at the Alameda County Law Library in Oakland, California.

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