I have a few questions about lawyer practice that is in relevance to the state of WI.

my ex and I are working through some legal matters that are going to court. We started by talking between each other and things seemed to be going well. After two weeks of phone conferences, I had received a call from a lawyer with her present in his office. He had began talking about the case and declared partiality by declaring my ex as his client. Two weeks after that, the lawyer had filed a retainer with the courts declaring himself representing my ex. The transcripts to all phone conferences prior the lawyer's filed retainer with the court was processed and deemed appropriate to be placed in the case file.

My question is this: can a lawyer call the opposing party and discuss matters with an upcoming court case without filing a retainer with the courts? Does a copy of a lawyer-client retainer contract have to be signed and processed with the courts? What if a lawyer-client contract was not signed prior to both the phone conference and notifying the court that legal representation was bound?