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, don’t hesitate to ask your attorney. He or she should be readily available to represent your best interests and keep you informed about your case.
You have the right to discuss the proposed rates, minimum fee, and retainer fee with your lawyer before you sign a retainer agreement, as in any other contract.
You have the right to know how many attorneys and other staff may be working on your case, and what you will be charged for their services.
You have the right to know in advance how you will be asked to pay legal fees and expenses.
If you pay a retainer, you may ask reasonable questions about how the money will be charged or has been charged and how much of it remains to your credit.
You are under no legal obligation to sign a confession of judgment or promissory note, or agree to a lien or mortgage on your home to cover legal fees. You are under no legal obligation to waive your rights to dispute a bill for legal services. However, the law firm must be paid and if you fail or refuse to pay, or to post a security for payment if the firm offers that option, the law firm may be entitled to withdraw as your attorney.
You have a right to a reasonable estimate of future necessary out-of-pocket costs or disbursements, other than legal fees. If your lawyer advances money in preparing your case, you have the right to know periodically how much money your lawyer has spent on your behalf. If the law firm deems that expenses should be incurred or undertaken and you refuse to authorize and pay for same, the law firm may be entitled to withdraw as your attorney upon appropriate application to a court, if necessary.
You have the right to ask your lawyer at reasonable intervals how the case is progressing and to have these questions answered to the best of your lawyers ability.
No final settlement of your case will be made without your prior approval.
You have the right to receive possession any original documents that are not part of your attorney’s work product. For instance, if you gave your present attorney documents received from another attorney, you have a right to forward copies of documents to you in a timely manner as he/she receives them from your spouse’s attorney. However, in the event that you owe money to the firm for services rendered or expenses incurred, the firm may withhold possession of your file and such documents until the account has been settled by payment or security or a court decides the issue.
Your rights and obligations as a client may be more fully defined by the written retainer agreement which will be prepared by your attorney. Accordingly, you should not sign the retainer agreement until you fully understand it.