Client Rights

STATEMENT OF CLIENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN CIVIL FAMILY ACTIONS


A. CLIENT RIGHTS

  • Clients have the right to have their attorneys diligently advocate their interests within the bounds of the law and legal ethics.
  • Clients have the right to have the fee arrangement fully and completely explained prior to entering into any agreement for services.
  • Clients have the right to have a written retainer agreement describing the financial terms of the relationship between the client and the attorney.
  • Clients have the right to refuse to enter into any unacceptable fee arrangement or modification of a fee arrangement.
  • Clients have the right to be provided information as to the attorney(s) who will be primarily responsible for their matter and all other legal staff who will be working on the matter as well as information as to the costs for those individuals.
  • Clients have the right to be provided bills on a regular basis, itemized as to the charges and time spent on each activity.
  • Clients have the right to be informed of and be present at any court proceeding involving their case unless otherwise directed by the court.
  • Clients have the right to be provided copies of all documents presented to the court by any party in their matter unless otherwise ordered by the court.
  • Clients have the right to be afforded reasonable access to their attorneys.
  • Clients have the right to make the final decision as to whether, when, and how to settle their cases and as to economic and other positions to be taken with respect to issues in the case.

B. CLIENT RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Clients shall provide full and accurate information to their attorneys regarding their matter.
  • Clients shall be available to participate in a timely fashion regarding their matter and to respond reasonably to requests from their counsel.
  • Clients shall advise their attorneys promptly of any change in their lives that might reasonably be expected to affect the handling of their matter.
  • Clients shall pay for the legal services rendered on their behalf within the time period set forth in the retainer agreement.
  • Clients shall be required to review diligently all bills submitted by their attorneys and within a reasonable time to raise any objections regarding billing.
  • Clients shall not take any position in their matter for any improper purpose, such as to delay the proceeding or intentionally to increase the cost to other litigants.
  • Clients shall not seek to use their attorneys for any improper means.
  • Clients must recognize and be responsible for the costs associated with any action initiated or requested by the client.
  • Clients shall provide sufficient time for their attorneys to explain to them the financial costs and other ramifications of a potential action in their matter and reasonably to consider the advice of their attorneys.

New Jersey Court Rules as amended, Appendix XVIII, Adopted January 21, 1999, to be effective April 5, 1999.

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