Finally, the letter must describe the lawyer`s “billing practices” for both fees and expenses. If the lawyer does monthly accounts, the letter should say so. The letter should clearly indicate when and at what rate late fees are incurred, if any. If the lawyer has requested or received an advance, the letter must specify the exact amount and whether it is a minimum fee, a “general repairer” or a “special retainer”, as well as the conditions under which the lawyer returns an undeserved part. In January 2001, the NYSBA Special Committee on Public Trust and Confidence in the Legal System recommended binding retainer agreements for all legal services and for all clients (individuals and businesses), regardless of the fee. Fourth, any lawyer who does not flagrantly comply with the letter of engagement rule risks discipline because he or she violates general disciplinary rules such as dr. 1-102 (A) (5) (provided that a lawyer or law firm is not “in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice”) or DR 7-106 (A) (provided that a lawyer is not “in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice”). a permanent rule of a court” or DR 7-106 (C) (6) (provide that a lawyer who appears before a court does not “violate an established rules of procedure … »). And when Justice Lippman says he doesn`t expect the new rule to result in a “large number” of disciplinary cases, he`s not saying he doesn`t expect disciplinary matters.
A lawyer or law firm that sometimes violates the rule or violates the rule in a minor way probably has nothing to worry about – but a law firm that doesn`t respect or completely ignores the rule repeatedly asks for trouble, including possible discipline. What is curious about the new regulation is that it does not explicitly provide for sanctions. It was adopted only as a rule of justice, not as a disciplinary rule. Some court rules provide that an offence is also a violation of the Code of Professional Liability. For example, the Court`s rulings, which limit costs in personal injury disputes, provide that any fee in excess of the fee provided for “requires inappropriate and unscrupulous compensation in violation of . the Code of Professional Responsibility … [See z.B. 22 NYCRR § 603.7 (e) (1st Dept.) and §691.20 (e) (2d Dept.]] Other rules of justice set out specific penalties. For example, 22 NYCRR § 130-1.2, which regulates our moderate behavior in litigation, allows penalties of up to “US$10,000 for each appearance of frivolous behavior.” Other judicial rules provide for an unspecified penalty.
For example, section 137.11 of the new Mandatory Arbitration Rules provides that “[a] prosecutor, who does not participate in the arbitration without reason, shall be referred to the competent appeal board of the Appeal Division to take appropriate action.” (a) as of March 4, 1, 2002, a lawyer who undertakes to represent a client and enter into an agreement for a client must collect a tax from a client, must present a written letter of mandate to the client before the commencement of the representation or within a reasonable time, (i) if this is not feasible by other means or (ii) where the extent of the services to be provided cannot be determined at the time of beginning of the performance.