BY JEFFREY MESSING
JEFFREY MESSING is a member of the Phoenix law firm of Poli & Ball
PLC. He has in the past served as a volunteer Bar Counsel, a Hearing
Officer, a Member and Chair of the Disciplinary Commission and
currently serves as a Member of the Probable Cause Committee.
42 ARIZONA ATTORNEY DECEMBER 2015
As part of its 2003 amendment to E.R. 1. 5, the Arizona Supreme Court
added a new subpart 1. 5(d)( 3) that specifically addressed the circumstances
under which a lawyer may charge a fee termed “earned upon receipt” or
“nonrefundable.” 1 After more than a decade of experience with the Rule,
a number of recurring problems and practical difficulties have become
apparent. This article examines the history of nonrefundable or earned-
on-receipt fees in Arizona and the problems that have arisen and suggests
alternatives to eliminate or at least reduce future difficulties.