Civil Code Section 1632 – Do retainer agreements have to be in the language the client speaks?

Learning stuff for the Ethics program I’m doing for the Federal Bar Assn on November 22, 2019.  California law requires the retainer agreement to be translated into “the language the agreement was negotiated in.”   I guess as long as I’m doing the “negotiating,” no translated copy is required, since I don’t speak any other language (except bankruptcyese).  At the program I will be asking the two experts with me whether the retainer should be translated nevertheless; the pros and cons of doing that.

California Civil Code 1632.
(b) Any person … who negotiates primarily in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean, orally or in writing, in the course of entering into any of the following, shall deliver to the other party …, a translation of the contract or agreement in the language in which the contract or agreement was negotiated, that includes a translation of every term and condition in that contract or agreement:

(6) A contract or agreement, containing a statement of fees or charges, entered into for the purpose of obtaining legal services, when the person who is engaged in business is currently licensed to practice law …

(g) The term “contract” or “agreement,” as used in this section, means the document creating the rights and obligations of the parties and includes any subsequent document making substantial changes in the rights and obligations of the parties. The term “contract” or “agreement” does not include any subsequent documents authorized or contemplated by the original document such as periodic statements, sales slips or invoices representing purchases made pursuant to a credit card agreement, a retail installment contract or account or other revolving sales or loan account, memoranda of purchases in an add-on sale, or refinancing of a purchase as provided by, or pursuant to, the original document.

(k) Upon a failure to comply with the provisions of this section, the person aggrieved may rescind the contract or agreement in the manner provided by this chapter.

(Amended by Stats. 2014, Ch. 117, Sec. 1. (SB 245) Ef

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