Statement of Client’s Rights
An attorney is providing you with this document to inform you of what you, as a client of the Firm, are entitled to by law or by custom. To help prevent any misunderstanding between you and the attorney please read this document carefully, and if you do not understand any portion, inquire for an explanation.
If you have any questions about your rights, or about the manner your case is being handled once you retain the attorney, you are responsible to ask your attorney. Your attorney 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, color, sex, sexual orientation, age, creed, national origin or disability.
You are entitled to understand the proposed billing rates and retainer fee before you sign a retainer agreement, as in any other contract. The retainer fee you pay to the attorney, as is written in the retainer agreement, may not be sufficient to pay for all the time the attorney works on your case or the expenses for the case. You may refuse to enter into any fee agreement that you find unsatisfactory. You are required to pay the expenses for filing fees and expert opinions and reports, including, but not limited to appraisals and comparative market reports.
You are required to pay for court filing fees, process serves as well as fees for expert reports (including, but not limited to appraisals, comparative market reports, etc.), depositions and /or trial testimony, and expenses customary in meeting the requirements set forth in the management and processing of your case.
You are expected to review itemized invoice sent to you by your attorney, and to raise any objections or errors in a timely fashion in writing (generally, within one week) . Time spent in discussion or explanation of invoices will not be charged to you. You are responsible to pay for your invoices within twenty days. Any discounts or reduced fees, will only be applicable to invoices paid within twenty days.
For property tax grievances, the savings is based on the gross assessment before exemptions multiplied by the tax rate. For example, a $10,000 tax assessment reduction multiplied by the tax rate of three percent, results in a tax savings of Thirty Thousand Dollars. ($30,000.00). In addition, client is responsible for filing fees and all valuation reports, including appraisals. Client has the right to obtain and provide their own appraisal. For non-primary owned property and commercial property, clients will provide the following items before a case is filed (income and expense statements, appraisal reports, property description and property sketch).
- You are entitled to be treated with courtesy and consideration at all times by your lawyer and the other lawyers and nonlawyer personnel in your lawyer’s office.
- You are entitled to have your attorney handle your legal matter competently and diligently, in accordance with the highest standards of the profession. If you are not satisfied with how your matter is being handled, you have the right to discharge your attorney and terminate the attorney-client relationship at any time. (Court approval may be required in some matters, and your attorney may have a claim against you for the value of services rendered to you up to the point of discharge.)
- You are entitled to your lawyer’s independent professional judgment and undivided loyalty uncompromised by conflicts of interest.
- You are entitled to be charged reasonable fees and expenses and to have your lawyer explain before or within a reasonable time after commencement of the representation how the fees and expenses will be computed and the manner and frequency of billing. You are entitled to request and receive a written itemized bill from your attorney at reasonable intervals. You may refuse to enter into any arrangement for fees and expenses that you find unsatisfactory. 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.
- You are entitled to have your questions and concerns addressed promptly and to receive a prompt reply to your letters, telephone calls, emails, faxes, and other communications.
- You are entitled to be kept reasonably informed as to the status of your matter and are entitled to have your attorney promptly comply with your reasonable requests for information, including your requests for copies of papers relevant to the matter. You are entitled to sufficient information to allow you to participate meaningfully in the development of your matter and make informed decisions regarding the representation.
- You are entitled to have your legitimate objectives respected by your attorney. In particular, the decision of whether to settle your matter is yours and not your lawyer’s. (Court approval of a settlement is required in some matters.)
- You have the right to privacy in your communications with your lawyer and to have your confidential information preserved by your lawyer to the extent required by law.
- You are entitled to have your attorney conduct himself or herself ethically in accordance with the New York Rules of Professional Conduct.
- You may not be refused representation on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.
- In the event of a fee dispute, you may have the right to seek arbitration pursuant to Part 137 of the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge where the dispute involves a sum of more than $1,000.00 or less than $5,000.00 unless you agree otherwise. Your attorney will provide you with the necessary information regarding arbitration in the event of a fee dispute, or upon your request.