How Attorney Fees Work In New York
Legal services are very costly. The value of my legal advice as your divorce attorney is a function of your trust in my judgment. I do not seek to receive your trust, because you think that expensive legal advice should be trustworthy. I also recognize that skepticism is healthy. It is a team effort from start to finish, and this is a very important event in your life.
Since 1993, attorney client relationships in New York have been extensively regulated. The client is required to receive the Statement of Client Rights and Responsibilities at the first consultation. The attorney and the client are required to execute the legally required form of written Retainer Agreement. Bills have to be sent at least every 60 days. There is mandatory fee arbitration if the amount in dispute is less than $50,000.
There are no hard and fast rules which fix the attorneys hourly rate, or the number of hours required to perform a task. Because we cannot make the other spouse agree, there can be no guaranty how long things will take and how much it will cost.
Seeking An Attorney Fee Award
There are some helpful remedial provisions in New York law. The divorce court has the power to level the playing field with an attorney fee award. As one of our Appellate judges has observed, the “power of the wallet” should not dictate the outcome of your divorce case.
I know how to frame your attorneys fee request and how to defend against one that may be made against you. I have lectured on the subject of attorney’s fees.