As a lawyer's client, you have certain rights, by law or by custom. To help prevent any misunderstanding, please read the following 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 non-refundable. 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 sixty days.