What is the document called Statement of Client’s Rights that you gave me?
This document explains how we as attorneys (and staff) pledge to conduct ourselves when interacting with you as a client and how we treat your case and personal information. It also spells out what actions you may take if you are unsatisfied with our service or feel we have not met the obligations set forth in this document. Please review the summary explanation below and always feel free to ask for clarification and express any concerns you might have. The official statement of clients’ rights is taken from Section 1210.1 of the Joint Rules of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court and the New York State Unified Court System.
Note that what follows is a paraphrased summary, not the official statement. You can find the official wording in our office and on a document given to prospective clients.
1. Our personal injury lawyers and office staff will always treat you courteously and considerately.
2. We will handle your case with diligence and competence, to the best of our professional ability. You have the right to fire us if you are not satisfied. However, we hope that instead you will speak candidly with a senior member of our firm about your concerns so we can have the chance to earn back your trust and continue our attorney-client relationship.
3. As your lawyers we pledge to give you our independent professional judgement, our loyalty, and to avoid any situation where a conflict of interest might happen.
4. We will charge reasonable fees and expenses for our legal services and explain charges and billing to you. If you ask, we will provide periodic itemized statements of charges for your review. You can seek arbitration in case of a bill dispute and we will provide the needed information.
5. We will address your questions and concerns promptly; replying quickly to your correspondence whether that is by phone, mail, or electronically.
6. We will provide regular updates as to how your case is progressing and do our best to satisfy reasonable requests for information and relevant paperwork in a timely manner. This enables you to be an informed and engaged participant in your own legal case.
7. We will respect your legitimate objectives for your case, particularly in regard to the decision to settle, which is yours, not ours. Be advised, however, that court approval may be required in some cases.
8. We will shield the privacy of your communications with us and honor the confidentiality of your information as required by law.
9. We will conduct ourselves ethically in accordance with the New York Rules of Professional Conduct.
10. We will not refuse to provide service or representation based on race, creed, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, national origin, or disability as this would be discrimination.
Again to summarize, these rights are promised to clients of any personal injury attorney, or any other lawyer. We post and distribute them so you know what to expect from us. Filing a suit or having a suit filed against you can be a tremendously stressful experience for anyone. This is especially true for people who have had little or no exposure to the civil justice system. Emotions can be high. Expectations for case outcomes may need to be adjusted based on the specifics of your situation.
Hopefully knowing ahead of time just what you can expect from us can reduce some of that stress and uncertainty. Even if you have not done this before, rest assured that we have. We have the expertise to guide you through the legal process and pledge to do so as diligently, courteously, loyally, and expeditiously as possible. We hope you give us the opportunity to do so.