DO YOU KNOW YOUR RIGHTS WITH YOUR ATTORNEY IN New York?
The Statement of Client's Rights in NY guarantees that you will be able to look at your court file, negotiate your fee contract with your attorney, be told the status of your case, and other rights too. I know about these rights because I drafted them myself. Now they are enshrined as court rules.
THE RIGHT TO BE INFORMED OF THE STATUS OF YOUR CASEYou are entitled to be kept reasonably informed as to the status of your matter. Your attorney can't keep you waiting months on end without informing you of relevant developments on your case. For example, if your attorney applies to the court to obtain some form of relief for you, you have a right to know when the document was filed, and what was filed. If your attorney appears in court for you, you have a right to know what happened right away -- within a day or two is reasonable. If you attorney won't get back to you, put your request in writing, reminding him or her that you are guaranteed the right to be kept informed on the status of your case. If your attorney tells you to sign a contract, without explaining all the terms to you, you have a right to ask him or her to explain it. If he or she doesn't then that attorney is in violation of the Statement of Client Rights.
The Right to See Your Case FileYou are entitled to have your attorney promptly comply with your reasonable requests for information, including your requests for copies of papers relevant to the matter. Did you know? You own your own file. You can go to your attorney's office an review your file at no cost to you. You may have to pay to have it copied, because lawyers are required to keep a copy of your file for several years, but even if you don't want to copy it, you can always see it. Your attorney should also be copying you on correspondence with the opposing side. If he or she doesn't, tell him it's implied by the Statement of Client Rights.