AGREEMENT / LETTER OF ENGAGEMENT FOR THE LITIGATION CHALLENGING “IN GOD WE TRUST” ON UNITED STATES MONEY
This is an agreement / letter of engagement between attorney Michael Newdow (“Newdow”) and the undersigned (“Client”).
Client wishes to bring a lawsuit challenging the inscription of “In God We Trust” on the nation’s coins and currency bills. The lawsuit will be brought in an appropriate U.S. District Court. If necessary, appeals will be pursued. As of this time, Client wishes to have Newdow represent Client throughout this litigation, from its initiation in the District Court through any and all appeals. Client always has the right to change his/her mind about this.
The legal representation provided by Newdow will occur under the following terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are being put in writing so that they are completely understood and agreed to prior to the commencement of the litigation. If Client has any questions concerning these terms and conditions, or if there is any desire to have them modified, discussion with separate counsel is encouraged. Nonetheless, Newdow may be contacted via email at NoMoreIGWT@gmail.com.
Client will be among a number of clients in this matter. Client understands the facts and bases for the litigation. By signing below, Client confirms a desire to have Newdow provide representation in this matter and is retaining Newdow to do this.
Client agrees to be candid and cooperative with Newdow and will keep Newdow informed with complete and accurate factual information, documents and other communications relevant to the litigation or otherwise reasonably requested by Newdow.
Client recognizes that the ideal way for clients to be represented in lawsuits is for each client to have separate counsel. Nonetheless, for reasons of strategy and efficiency, joint representation will occur in this case. Pursuant to the regulations of the relevant bar organization(s), Newdow recommends that Client consider consulting independent counsel about the advantages and disadvantages of proceeding with joint representation.
At this time, Newdow does not perceive any significant conflicting or differing interests between or among the clients in this case. By signing below, Client acknowledges that Client, also, does not perceive any conflicting or differing interests between or among Client and other plaintiffs.
Should significant conflicting or differing interests arise, Newdow will discuss the issues and attempt to resolve any problems. However, Client understands that independent counsel can (and should) be consulted in order to have an attorney without an equal obligation to advocate for others. If differences cannot be resolved, Client can always withdraw from the litigation.
Additionally, Client understands that it may be necessary for Newdow to terminate his representation of Client, depending on the circumstances.
It is possible (though doubtful) that Newdow may have a current or future client that undertakes a transaction or has a dispute with Client. Client agrees that, as long as the matters are not substantially related to the work in this “In God We Trust” matter, Newdow may continue to represent (or undertake in the future to represent) existing or new clients in any matter, even if the interests of those other clients in those other matters are directly adverse to Client (provided that there are no relevant confidences learned by Newdow as a result of this litigation).
Newdow has agreed to represent Client solely in connection with the litigation in federal court concerning the “In God We Trust” motto on the money. Newdow’s representation will extend through the completion of all hearings, trial(s) and appeals.
Client may ask Newdow to limit or expand the scope of his representation from time to time. Such requests will be considered, but Newdow will not substantially limit or expand the scope without a further written agreement. While Newdow cannot guarantee the result or outcome of this matter, he will strive to provide Client with the highest quality legal representation and endeavor to exercise his best judgment at all times.
- Fees and Litigation Costs
Michael Newdow has agreed to represent and provide legal services to Client on a pro bono basis. This means his legal services are provided without charging Client a legal fee (i.e., Newdow’s legal services are free). Where possible, Newdow will seek to obtain the services of others on a pro bono basis as well. However, to the extent third parties are involved, Newdow cannot guarantee that the services such third parties provide will also be pro bono.
Bar rules may prohibit Newdow from paying more than a relatively small amount in costs (such as filing fees, court reporter fees, costs to obtain court transcripts, travel, facsimiles, telephone calls, photocopying, postage and messenger services,). Thus, although Client has no obligation to pay any amount to participate in this case, Client is aware that the litigation may need to be aborted if funding is not met by contributions and donations from plaintiffs or others. Although unlikely, other costs (such as expert witness fees, translator fees, and the like) may be required as well.
It is obviously hoped that Plaintiffs will prevail in this litigation. If that occurs, the Court may order Defendants to reimburse Plaintiffs for certain costs. If this occurs, Client agrees that the award of costs will be offered to those who paid them in a manner that best approximates the relative share(s) paid.
A court may also award attorney’s and other legal fees to be paid by Defendants. Client irrevocably assigns all such fees to Newdow. In other words, Client agrees that, in accepting free legal services from Newdow, Client will not subsequently seek to retain any legal fees that may later be awarded.
Client understands that protective orders will be sought in relation to all minor children (and their families) who participate as plaintiffs in this litigation. If, as expected, those orders are granted, all plaintiff identifiers for those children and their families will be kept “under seal” by the given court. Should Client somehow learn the names or other identifiers of such minor children and/or their families (of other clients), Client will be bound to maintain strict confidentiality and not divulge any of that information. Client understands that severe penalties – including large fines and jail time – are possible should Client violate a protective order and disclose “sealed” information.
Despite the foregoing, Client understands that trials are public events and (with the exception of minor children and their families) plaintiff names and addresses are generally accessible by anyone who wishes to find them.
Client recognizes that – although Newdow will try to respect every Client’s privacy – Newdow will be representing multiple co-equal plaintiffs. Thus, Newdow may not be able to maintain confidences between or among plaintiffs.
Should there be any organizational plaintiff(s) in this litigation about which Client has access to confidential information, Client agrees to keep such information from Newdow. This will hopefully prevent any conflict of interest should another client have a dispute with the organizational plaintiff(s) or any of its affiliates or members.
It is doubtful that expert witnesses will be necessary in this litigation. However, should such witnesses be required (or simply advantageous), Client authorizes Newdow to share Client’s confidential information with them.
Client understands that Newdow may store client information in cloud-based servers and use “cloud-computing.” Should Newdow do this, he shall use cloud-based companies generally thought to be reliable. Client recognizes that there is some risk of hacking, malware, etc., even for those companies, and agrees to accept the risks involved.
Client also understands that Newdow is a one-attorney, pro-bono “law firm,” and therefore has limited resources to devote to computer security. Newdow shall take “reasonable measures” to safeguard all client data. However, client (again) recognizes that there are some risks of hacking, malware, etc., and agrees to accept those risks.
- Termination of Relationship
Upon reasonable notice, Client or Newdow may each terminate this agreement (provided court approval, where necessary, is granted).
- Conclusion of Representation and Retention and Disposition of Documents
Newdow’s representation will conclude when any trial and all appeals are over. Following the conclusion of his representation, any otherwise nonpublic information Client has supplied to Newdow will be kept confidential in accordance with the applicable rules of professional conduct. At Client’s request, any original papers or property provided to Newdow will be promptly returned to Client. Newdow will retain and own any copies of original materials and all files he created. Such files may include, for example, administrative records, time and expense reports, personnel and staffing materials, credit and accounting records, and internal lawyers’ work product, such as drafts, notes, internal memoranda, and legal and factual research.
For various reasons, including the minimization of unnecessary storage expenses, Newdow reserves the right to destroy or otherwise dispose of any such documents or other materials retained by him within a reasonable time after the termination of his engagement.
- Post-Engagement Matters
Client is engaging Newdow to provide legal services in connection with the specific matter of challenging “In God We Trust” on the nation’s coins and currency bills. Unless Client again engages Newdow after this matter ends, Newdow has no continuing obligation to provide Client with any further counsel.
 As used in this document, “Newdow” generally includes Michael Newdow and all other individuals whom he shall hire, join with, etc., in order to engage in this litigation.
 “Michael Newdow” here refers only to that one individual.