Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-part series.

The key feature of the attorney-client relationship is the reliance the client places upon the skill and expertise of the attorney. This feature does not exist when an attorney represents himself, or when he asks a subordinate attorney to do something without relying on the ­subordinate’s superior knowledge or expertise in a particular area of the law. The independence of the attorney from the client is the hallmark of the relationship and is the lynchpin of the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Kay v. Ehrler that in order for there to be an attorney-client relationship there must be a principal (client) and an agent (attorney).

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