The Attorneys provide this information to inform you of
what you, as a client, are entitled to by law or by custom. To help prevent
any misunderstanding between you and your attorney please read this
If you ever have any questions about these rights, or about the way
your case is being handled, do not hesitate to ask your attorney. He or she
should be readily available to represent your best interests and keep you
informed about your case.
An attorney may not refuse to represent you on the basis of race,
creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.
You are entitled to an attorney who will be capable of handling your
case; show you courtesy and consideration at all times; represent you
zealously; and preserve your confidences and secrets that are revealed in the
course of the relationship.
You are entitled to a written retainer agreement which must set forth
in plan language, the nature of the relationship and the details of the fee
arrangement. At your request, and before you sign the agreement, you are
entitled to have your attorney clarify in writing any of its terms, or include
You are entitled to fully understand the proposed rates and retainer
fee before you sign a retainer agreement, as in any other contract.
You may refuse to enter into any fee arrangement that you find
Your attorney may not request a fee that is contingent on the
securing of a divorce or on the amount of money or property that may be
Your attorney may not request a retainer fee that is nonrefundable.
That is, should you discharge your attorney, or should your attorney
withdraw from the case, before the retainer is used up, he or she is entitled
to be paid commensurate with the work performed on your case and any
expenses, but must return the balance of the retainer to you. However, your
attorney may enter into a minimum fee arrangement with you that provides
for the payment of a specific amount below which the fee will not fall based
upon the handling of the case to its conclusion.
You are entitled to know the approximate number of attorneys or
other legal staff members who will be working on your case at any given
time and what you will charged for the services of each.
You are entitled to know in advance how you will be asked to pay
for legal fees and expenses, and how the retainer, if any, will be spent.
At your request, and after your attorney has had a reasonable
opportunity to investigate your case, you are entitled to be given an estimate
of approximate future costs of your case, which estimate shall be made in
good faith but may be subject to change due to facts and circumstances
affecting the case.
You are entitled to receive a written, itemized bill on regular, at least
every 60 days.
You are expected to review the itemized bills sent by counsel, and to
raise objection or errors in a timely. Time spent in discussion or explanation
of bills will not be charged to you.
You are expected to be truthful in all discussions with your attorney,
and to provide all relevant information and documentation to enable him or
her to competently prepare your case.
You are entitled to be kept informed of the status of you case, and to
be provided with copies of correspondence and documents prepared on your
behalf or received from the court or your adversary.
You have the right to be present in court at the time that conferences
You are entitled to make the ultimate decision on the objectives to be
pursued in your case, and to make the final decision regarding the
settlement of your case.
Your attorney’s written retainer agreement must specify under what
circumstances he or she might seek to withdraw as your attorney for
nonpayment of legal fees. If an action or proceeding is pending, the court
may give your attorney a "charging lien", which entitles your attorney to
payment for services already rendered at the end of the case out of the
proceeds of the final order or judgment.
Your are under no legal obligation to sign a confession of judgment
or promissory note, or to agree to a lien or mortgage on your home to cover
legal fees. Your attorney’s written retainer agreement must specify
whether, and under what circumstances, such security may be requested. In
no even may such security interest be obtained by your attorney without
prior court approval and notice to your adversary. An attorney’s security
interest in the marital residence cannot be foreclosed against you.
You are entitled to have your attorney’s best efforts exerted on your
behalf, but no particular results can be guaranteed.
If you entrust money with an attorney for an escrow deposit in your
case, the attorney must safeguard the escrow in a special bank account. You
are entitled to a written escrow agreement, a written receipt, and a complete
record concerning the escrow. When the terms of the escrow agreement
have been performed, the attorney must promptly make payment of the
escrow to all persons who are entitled to it.
In the event of a fee dispute, you may have the right to seek
arbitration. Your attorney will provide you with the necessary information
regarding arbitration in the event of a fee dispute, or upon your request.