This decision holds that apart from work done to transfer the file and collect for past work, a dissolved law partnership has no property interest in hourly fee cases or the attorney fees in them after the cases are transferred to a new firm (even if populated with refugees from the dissolved firm). The client has the absolute right to transfer a case to another attorney at any time with or without cause, so the current council has at most an expectancy, not a property interest in future fees earned on the matter. The decision does not address contingency fee cases.
California Supreme Court (Cuellar, J.); March 5, 2018; 2018 WL 1146649.