Statement of Client's Rights and Responsibilities
1. RETENTION AGREEMENT LETTER. The written Retention Agreement Letter, prepared by this office, shall clearly address the objectives of representation and detail by the fee arrangement, including all material items. If fees are to be based on criteria apart from, or in addition to, hourly rates, such criteria (e.g., unique time demands and/or utilization of unique expertise) shall be delineated. The client shall receive a copy of the written Retention Agreement Letter and any additional clarification requested and is advised not to sign any such agreement, which the client finds to be unsatisfactory, or does not understand.
2. REPRESENTATION. Representation will commence upon the signing of the Retention Agreement Letter. This law office will provide competent representation, which requires legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation to handle those matters set forth in the written Retention Agreement Letter. Once employed, this law office will act with reasonable diligence and promptness, as well as use its best efforts on behalf of the client, but it cannot guarantee results. This law office will abide by the client's decision concerning the objectives of representation, including whether or not to accept an offer of settlement, and will endeavor to explain any matter to the extent reasonably necessary to permit the client to make informed decisions regarding representation. During the course of representation and afterwards, this office may not use or reveal a client's confidence or secrets, except as required or permitted by law.
3. COMMUNICATION. This law office will keep the client reasonably informed about the status of representation and will promptly respond to reasonable requests for information, including any reasonable request for an estimate respecting future cost of representation or an appropriate portion of it. The client shall be truthful in all discussions with the counsel and provide all the information or documentation required to enable the counsel to provide competent representation. During representation, the client is entitled to receive all pleadings and substantive documents prepared on behalf of the client and every document received from any other counsel of record. At the end of representation and on written request from the client, the counsel will return to the client all original documents and exhibits. In the event that the counsel withdraws from representation, or is discharged by the client, the counsel will turn over to the substituting counsel (or, if no substitutions, to the client) all original documents and exhibits together with complete copies of all the pleadings and discovery within thirty (30) days of the counsel's withdrawal or discharge.
4. ETHICAL CONDUCT. This law office cannot be required to engage in conduct which is illegal, unethical, or fraudulent. In matters involving minor children, this law office may refuse to engage in conduct which, in this law office's professional judgment, would be contrary to the best interest of the client's minor child or children. This law office, who cannot ethically abide by his client's direction, shall be allowed to withdraw from representation.
5. FEES. This law office's fees or services may not be contingent upon the securing of the dissolution of marriage, upon obtaining custody, or be based upon the amount of maintenance, child support, or property settlement received, except as specifically permitted under Supreme Court rules. This law office may not require a non-refundable retainer fee, but must remit back any overpayment at the end of representation. This law office may enter into a consensual security agreement with the client whereby assets of the client are pledged to secure payment of legal fees or costs, but only if this law office first obtains approval of the court. This law office will prepare and provide the client with an itemized billing statement detailing hourly rates and other criteria), time spent, tasks performed, and costs incurred on a regular basis, at least quarterly. The client should review each billing statement promptly and address any objection or error in a timely manner. The client will not be billed for time spent to explain or correct a billing statement. If an appropriately detailed written estimate is submitted to a client as to future costs for this law office's representation or a portion the contemplated services ( i.e., relative to specific steps recommended by this law office in the estimate) and , without objection from the client, this law office then performs the contemplated services, all such services are presumptively reasonable and necessary, as well as deemed pursuant to the client's direction. In an appropriate case, the client may pursue contribution to his or her fees and costs from the other party.
6. DISPUTES. This Attorney-client relationship is regulated by the Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct (Article VIII of the Illinois Supreme Court Rules), and any dispute shall be reviewed under the terms of such Rules.