Know Your Rights as a Client

Did you know you have rights as a consumer of legal services? When you retain a lawyer, you are entitled to one who:

1. Is capable of handling your case.

2. Will represent you zealously and seek any lawful means to present or defend your case.

3. Will preserve your confidences, secrets or statements which you reveal in the course of the attorney-client relationship.

4. Will give you the right to make the ultimate decision on the objectives to be pursued in your case.

5. Will charge you a reasonable fee and tell you, in advance of being hired and upon your request, the basis of that fee.

6. Will show you courtesy and consideration at all times.

7. Will exercise independent professional judgment on your behalf, free from compromising influences.

8. Will inform you periodically about the status of your case and, at your request, give you copies of documents prepared.

9. Will exhibit the highest degree of ethical conduct.

10. Will refer you to other legal counsel, if he or she cannot properly represent you.

In matters involving contingency fees (where your attorney gets paid a percentage of the recovery), your rights are printed on a special form approved by the Florida Supreme Court in 1986, entitled "Statement of Client's Rights for Contingency Fees" which you and your attorney must both sign before entering into any contingency fee agreement.

Source: Consumer Pamphlet: A Consumer's Guide to Clients' Rights (by The Florida Bar) (opens in new window)