Q: My lawyer recently went into practice on her own, away from the big firm she used to work for,. Although we had a retainer agreement that states rates, she has assured me that her fees will be recovered by way of final settlement in the case, and that I need not pay her now. A lawyer friend of mine stated that this constitutes a “Contingency Fee Arrangement:” and as such is prohibited under New York State Bar association rules. Is my lawyer friend correct?
A: David’s Answer: It’s true the a contingency fee arrangement is prohibited in NY Family Law cases. That said, your attorney MAY be saying that she won’t insist on you paying the bill, but instead you can simply pay her bill when you get the settlement. You may thus wish to clarify with her what she means. Schedule a consult with a NYC Divorce attorney for a 2d opinion.— David Bliven, Bronx Divorce attorney (www.blivenlaw.net)