The Statement of Client’s Rights hangs on our wall with pride.
Visiting Meltzer Lippe you will find on our wall a very important document informing you of your rights as a client at our, or any other, law firm. It is The Statement of Client Rights and, though a bit antique in its display, its tenets are as plain as day, as relevant and as important as ever.
1. You are entitled to be treated with courtesy and consideration at all times by your lawyer and the other lawyers and personnel in your lawyer’s office.
2. You are entitled to an attorney capable of handling 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 withdraw from 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.)
3. You are entitled to your lawyer’s independent professional judgment and undivided loyalty uncompromised by conflicts of interest.
4. You are entitled to be charged a reasonable fee and to have your lawyer explain at the outset how the fee will be computed and the manner and frequency of billing; you are entitled to request and receive a written itemized bill for you attorney at reasonable intervals; you may refuse to enter into any fee arrangement 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 necessary information regarding arbitration in the event of a fee dispute, or upon your request.
5. You are entitled to have your questions and concerns addressed in a prompt manner and to have your telephone calls returned promptly.
6. You are entitled to be kept informed as to the status of you matter and to request and receive copies of documents. You are entitled to sufficient information to allow you to participate meaningfully in the development of your matter.
7. You are entitled to have your legitimate objectives respected by your attorney, including whether or not to settle your matter (court approval of a settlement is required in some matters).
8. You have the right to privacy in your dealing with your lawyer and to have your secrets and confidences preserved to the extent permitted by law.
9. You are entitled to have your attorney conduct himself or herself ethically in accordance with the Code of Professional Responsibility.
10. You may not be refused representation on the basis of race, creed, color, religion sex, sexual orientation, age, national origin or disability.
To learn more about the ethical and professional obligations of an attorney you may wish to review the American Bar Association Model Rules of Professional Conduct, or New York State Bar Association Rules of Conduct.