The New York State Bar Association's Statement of Clients' Rights
The New York State Bar Association requires all attorneys to post the Statement of Client’s Rights in a manner visible to clients.
We have established this web site as a resource for anyone involved in real estate in New York. We do not give legal advice from this web site and we do not establish an attorney/client relationship through this web site. However, the New York State Bar Association has stated that New York attorneys practicing law on the Internet should post the full text of the Statement of Clients’ Rights on their web site and assure it is posted in a manner visible to clients. While we do not practice law on the Internet, since this medium of communication is so new and ever changing, we have chosen to post the Statement of Clients’ Rights on our web site so that we will be in compliance with the requirements of the New York State Bar Association if, by the passage of a statute in the future, or case law developments, attorneys with web sites are deemed to be practicing law on the Internet.
Statement of Clients’ Rights
Your attorney is providing you with this document 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 document carefully.
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 plain 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 additional provisions.
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 unsatisfactory.
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 obtained.
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 and other legal staff members who will be working on your case at any given time and what you will be charged for the services of each.
You are entitled to know in advance how you will be asked to pay 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 a regular basis, at least every 60 days.
You are expected to review the itemized bills sent by counsel, and to raise any objections or errors in a timely manner. 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.