Your relationship with your lawyer is governed both by the agreement you make with the lawyer and by the laws and rules that govern the lawyer's conduct. Those laws and rules give you rights that you should know about before you agree to retain an attorney.
1. Before you retain a lawyer to represent you, you have a right to:
Know about the lawyer's education, training and experience.
Receive an estimate of the costs and fees the lawyer expects to incur in representing you. You should recognize that some legal matters become more complicated and expensive than originally anticipated.
Understand the possible consequences of the representation, including, for example, adverse consequences that may result if litigation is unsuccessful.
Know whether the lawyer has previously represented any adverse parties (anyone who is or may be on the other side, this may include potential witnesses).
Discuss and bargain about the proposed fee and the rate or percentage of the fee.
2. At the time you retain a lawyer, you have a right to:
Agree-in writing, if you request-on the services to be provided and the fees to be charged. If you agree on a contingent fee, the fee percentage should be stated. If you agree to fees based on hourly or other unit rates, the rate should be stated.
Direct the objectives of the representation, unless the objectives are illegal or unethical .
3. When a lawyer is representing you, you have a right to
Be represented competently.
Be represented zealously, but honestly and with respect for the rights of others and the orderly administration of justice.
Receive from your lawyer information about the representation and copies of documents prepared on your behalf.
Ask about the progress of the case at reasonable intervals.
Demand reasonable diligence and promptness by your lawyer.
Expect your lawyer to explain matters so you can make informed decisions about the representation.
Be consulted on the means your lawyer will use in representing you.
Learn about and explore methods other than litigation for resolving your disputes, including mediation, arbitration and conciliation.
In a civil matter, decide whether to accept an offer of settlement.
In a criminal matter, decide what plea to enter, whether to waive a jury trial, and whether you will testify.
Demand that your lawyer exercise independent professional judgment on your behalf, free from compromising influences.
Receive a statement showing the work performed by your lawyer and the costs incurred before you pay any bill.
Be referred to other counsel if your lawyer cannot represent you properly and have a free copy of your file provided to new counsel.
4. At any time after you have consulted a lawyer, you have a right to:
Expect the lawyer to preserve your confidences, secrets, and statements revealed during the consultation.
Expect the lawyer to be courteous and considerate.
Seek a second opinion with the consent of your present counsel and the knowledge of your representation provided to those you contact.
5.You Do Not Have a Right To:
Ask your lawyer to violate the law, act unethically, take unreasonable or arbitrary positions against your lawyer's professional judgment, or do anything repugnant to your lawyer's own sense of honor and propriety.
Demand a refund after papers are already filed in court and/or steps already taken in pursuant of the brief.
To demand your lawyer takes every telephone calls of yours or come to your premises as a matter of obligation.
To subject your Lawyer to any kind of ridicule.
To blackmail your lawyer to return the brief.
To abuse or extend the privileges of the communication between you and your Lawyer to 3rd Parties.