Family Law-LS - Rule A NY divorce lawyer must give a client...

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Rule A NY divorce lawyer must give a client a bill of rights and a signed written retainer agreement containing a fee schedule and an estimate of the total legal bill expected - the right to collect a fee is forfeited if no agreement is given - new 2002 bill that every lawyer must give an engagement/retainer letter (but this bill is different from the DRL rule) Phillips , 178 Misc.2d 159 (retainer signed by client’s brother who had power of attorney insufficient compliance with the rule); McMahon , 169 Misc.2d 509 (ordering refund of fees because attorney failed to provide a written retainer agreement) Rule A lawyer is prohibited from having sex with a client - the client is vulnerable Rule A lawyer cannot charge a non-refundable fee - must also bill the client every 60 days (puts the client on notice) Rule Liens to secure payment of a fee must be approved by the court on notice to the other spouse - a court-approved lien on a client’s residence cannot be foreclosed while a client still lives in the home and the home is the client’s primary residence (principle of fairness) - July 2000/01, Essay 3 Rule In any legal fee dispute, where the amount disputed is between $1k and $50k in a civil case, mandatory arbitration can be demanded by the client (not the attorney) and the attorney must notify the client of this option - new rule (Jan. 2002) - because the client has to go out for a new lawyer if no arbitration allowed; the lawyer doesn’t have to (with arbitration, there are no pleadings, no rules of evidence, etc.) Rule If the arbitration produces evidence of professional misconduct, the panel must forward the evidence to the grievance committee - might induce the attorney to settle beforehand Rule Either party can seek judicial review of their claim within 30 days of the written arbitration award, but an arbitrator cannot be called as a witness and the award is inadmissible at trial - encourages lawyers to act as arbitrators Rule The arbitration proceeding is confidential - don’t let the press and the public know that the attorney is in a dispute with his client Rule If the disputed amount is less than $6k, only 1 attorney arbitrator hears the case, but for larger disputes, the panel is three arbitrators, one of whom must be a non-lawyer Rule Arbitration rules do not apply to 1. claims less than $1k or more than $50k unless all parties consent 2. claims involving substantial legal questions (i.e. attorney’s legal malpractice) – only fairness, reasonableness, and amount of fee 3. disputes where the fee is fixed by court or by statute (ex. contingency fees)
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Rule NY Family Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear matrimonial actions but once the matrimonial judgment is granted by the Supreme Court, family court has concurrent jurisdiction over the enforcement or modification of the decree - unless the judgment expressly reserved jurisdiction with the Supreme Court (which it never does) Rule Under CPLR 105P, a matrimonial action is defined as a divorce, annulment, separation cause of action, a
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This note was uploaded on 02/18/2008 for the course LAW 1000 taught by Professor Minda during the Fall '06 term at St. Johns Duplicate.

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Family Law-LS - Rule A NY divorce lawyer must give a client...

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