In March 2009, I opened my law practice and drafted a Client Bill of Rights. I drafted this Client Bill of Rights immediately after obtaining professional liability insurance, and immediately before I secured office space.
I modeled it very loosely after a Client Bill of Rights of the law firm of Coover and Barr of Columbia, Maryland – an excellent land use and construction law firm where I worked for a short time in 2003. I recommend that firm for land use and construction litigation in Central Maryland; I do not now practice in those areas. My firm’s Client Bill of Rights is aimed more specifically to the philosophy and approach of a “human-centered practice of law,” which my law firm espouses.
Since March 2009, I have not modified this Client Bill of Rights; it has been the one constant in a very busy, very dynamic two years in solo practice. I am proud to stand behind the standards in this document.
CLIENT BILL OF RIGHTS
Law Office of Bruce Godfrey
This Bill of Rights represents the policies of the Law Office of Bruce Godfrey to all Clients in all matters. In the event that the Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct prescribe a higher standard, the Law Office follows the higher standard.
1. All Clients have the right to the Golden Rule at all times. The Law Office must and will do unto the Client as we would have done unto us, and if the Law Office would find something objectionable or unfair if done to us or to our families or friends, we do not do that in any Client’s case. This Right governs all other Rights.
2. All Clients have the right to a clear and simple explanation of our work and how fees are charged.
3. All Clients have the right to the Law Office’s best knowledge, best judgment and best effort.
4. All Clients have the right to solid competence in everything that the Law Office does and to excellence when the Law Office promises excellence.
5. All Clients have the right to accountability from the Law Office. If the Law Office ever fails to deliver as agreed or required, the Law Office is the first to own responsibility for the failure.
6. All Clients have the right to strict confidentiality in their communications with the Law Office. Clients sometimes tell attorneys what they won’t tell their spouses or their clergy when they seek legal help, and the Law Office must always honor that trust strictly.
7. All Clients have the right to prompt follow-up to their phone calls or other contacts; the Law Office returns client calls within 24 hours, period.
8. All Clients have the right to efficient service, both as to efficient, timely completion of their work and as to efficient use of billable time.
Edited March 2009. Copyright 2009 Law Office of Bruce Godfrey and Theodore Bruce Godfrey, Esq.