As a former chair of the Ethics Committee in Middlesex County, New Jersey, I am well aware that communication is essential in any attorney-client relationship. Moreover, I find that in the emotional charged area of divorce and family law, many levels of communication. The most obvious is that, as lawyer and counselor, it is imperative that I explain the law here in New Jersey in a manner that my client has a clear understanding of how it applies to their case. Additionally, I will often provide “divorce tips,” to my clients, such as how to best protect the children during a custody dispute.
With that all said, another way my law firm ensures a positive and efficient attorney-client relationship is for each client to review the Family Retainer Agreement. The retainer agreement explains what the client may expect from both the lawyers and our support staff while handling a divorce, child support, or child custody on behalf of our client. Furthermore, my law firm’s retainer agreement contains a statement which includes both the right’s of our client’s as well as what responsibilities they have to our lawyers during the course of our representation.
The first order of business once a client decides that team of attorneys shall be representing them is to email a Retainer Agreement, a copy of which you may please find below. As always, your inquiry is invited. Thank you.
LAW OFFICES OF EDWARD R. WEINSTEIN, L.L.C.
FAMILY RETAINER AGREEMENT:
This law firm will represent you with respect to certain legal problems concerning your family law dispute here in the state of New Jersey.
We have discussed your representation and explained to you all services rendered by our firm and your rights and responsibilities toward our firm. A copy of the “Statement of Client Rights and Responsibilities in Civil Family Actions” is annexed to this agreement.LAWYER’S DUTIES
1. The primary obligation of this firm will be to represent you in your application at the Superior Court of New Jersey, Family Division.NO GUARANTY
2. Judges are granted great discretion in family law matters. As a result, this firm cannot guarantee the result in any aspect of your matterREPRESENTATION BY THE FIRM
3. An attorney of this firm’s matrimonial department will have primary responsibility for managing your case. Members of this firm and associates may also participate in your representation. You may communicate with the attorney in charge or with any of our other lawyers who may be handling your case. Additionally, certain tasks may be assigned to paralegal assistants or law clerks.CLIENT RESPONSIBILITY
4. A copy of the “Statement of Client Rights and Responsibilities in Civil Family Actions” is annexed to this Agreement and provides a thorough listing of your responsibilities to this firm. You must cooperate fully with the Law Firm. You must communicate with us on a regular basis. The completion of your case may require your participation in litigation and may require you to go to Court. Your failure to cooperate in litigation could result in an adverse decision.LEGAL FEES
5. This firm will begin work on your case upon the payment of $_______.00. This sum will be used to pay your counsel fees on an ongoing basis regarding your child support/visitation/custody matter. This sum will be used to pay your fees and the disbursements charged to you. If a plenary hearing is required, an additional retainer will be needed. The Law Firm will send you bills from time to time, but not less frequently than every ninety days, provided that services have been rendered during that period. All bills for legal fees, costs and expenses are due upon receipt and will be paid from the retainer until it is exhausted. At the conclusion of your representation, any monies remaining will be forwarded to you. If the retainer sum is exhausted prior to the conclusion of your representation, as additional retainer sum will be required not to exceed the amount of the initial retainer. Should a subsequent retainer become exhausted, the same procedure shall apply.
6. This agreement does not include services rendered which may be related to the family law case, but which may not necessarily be specifically before the family court. If you need representation regarding any of the matters set forth below, they may be supplied to you for an additional fee, which will be agreed upon prior to the commencement of work on such matters. It may become necessary for you to sign a separate retainer agreement if additional services are requested.
7. You must pay any experts retained by this firm on your behalf. Before experts are retained, we will advise you. Expert bills will be due upon receipt.ADDITIONAL COSTS
8. In addition to legal fees, you will be responsible to pay the following expenses and disbursements, if applicable:
Expenses and disbursements shall be billed no less frequently than once every ninety days, provided that expenses and disbursements have been incurred during that period.ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
9. By signing this agreement, you admit:
EDWARD R. WEINSTEIN, ESQ. (client)
STATEMENT OF CLIENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES
IN CIVIL FAMILY ACTION
A. CLIENT RIGHTS
B. CLIENT RESPONSABILITIES
You have read, understand and agree to the contents of this Agreement.