When a client retains a lawyer, the client is granted certain rights. This article reviews the most basic of these rights that are created by the relationship between clients and attorneys.
The Right to Courteous Treatment
A client has the right to be courteously treated by their attorney throughout the duration of the attorney-client relationship. This required courtesy extends to any other lawyers at the attorney’s office as well as non-lawyer employees at the attorney’s office.
The Right to Competent Representation
A client has the right for their lawyer to address legal issues competently and in a manner that meets the legal profession’s highest standards.
For whatever the reason, clients who are not fully satisfied with the resolution of their legal issues, should remember that at any point they can end a lawyer’s representation and discharge the relationship with their lawyer. In some situations, however, court approval might be required to end this relationship.
In some situations, a client’s lawyer might be able to pursue compensation for the fair value of the legal services provided to the client before the relationship was terminated.
The Right to the Lawyer’s Independent and Professional Judgment
A client has a right to a lawyer’s professional and independent judgment and as well their undivided loyalty. The lawyer’s judgment should be free from any conflict of interest, which can occur when a personal or professional interest of the attorney compromises their judgment or actions.
The Right to Reasonable Fees
A client has a right to be subject to fees and costs that are reasonable. A client similarly has a right for their attorney to clarify either before or in a reasonable period after commencement begins how charges will be assessed as well as how frequently, and the way in which they will be billed.
Clients also possess the right to ask for (and later receive) a bill from their lawyer that itemizes each service received.
Clients can decline to accept a contract for any costs that they deem unsatisfactory. If a disagreement arises about a service, a client right also exists to pursue arbitration and their lawyer will provide the client with the required details involving arbitration in case of a fee dispute.
The Right to Timely Answers to Questions
A client has a right to have any questions addressed promptly. A client right also exists to receive within a reasonable time frame any correspondence that the client sends including emails, telephone calls, and faxes.
The Right to be Reasonably Informed of Case Status
A client has a right to be kept updated regarding the case’s status. Clients also have a right for their attorney to promptly meet any reasonable information requests.
Clients have a right to receive sufficient information that lets the client participate in a meaningful manner in their case and make decisions in an informed way about the legal representation that they receive.
The Right to Have Objectives Followed
A client has a right to have their legitimate objectives followed by their lawyer. The choice of deciding to resolve their situation is solely the client’s and not the attorney’s, even though court approval is necessary in some situations.
The Right to Private Communication
A client right exists regarding private communication with their attorney. Clients also have the right to have confidential details about their life and their case preserved by their attorney to the degree required by the law.
The Right to Conforming Attorney Behavior
A client is entitled to have their lawyer behave in a manner that conforms with the New York Rules of Professional Conduct, which outlines what conduct is required of attorneys in New York state in various situations.
The Right to Representation
A client cannot be denied representation based on their age, color, race, sex, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one needs the assistance of an experienced personal injury attorney, you should not hesitate to contact the Law of Cohen & Jaffe LLP. During a free case evaluation, we will discuss your available options to help you obtain the results you deserve.
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