The Mississippi Court of Appeals decided Foster v. Kotsakos yesterday. A copy of the opinion is located here. The issue in the case is the ability of a minor to contract in a personal injury case. The attorney did not get his contract approved by the Court and later the minor obtained a different attorney to settle the case. The court affirmed the trial court's ruling that the prior attorney was only entitled to the reasonable value of his services for work actually performed. Had the prior attorney obtained the chancery court approval, I believe under the caselaw as long as he was not terminated for cause that he would have been able to obtain the reasonable value of his services or contract amount, whichever is higher.
On a side-note, this also is a good reason to have an employment contract signed by the parent instead of the child for an hourly billing arrangement on family law cases with it being spelled out that you represent the minor, but that the parent is contractually liable for the legal bill.