City Bar’s Legal Referral Service Launches Civil Court Project

Recognizing the difficulty individuals and small businesses have in finding representation on matters in Civil Court for disputes involving amounts ranging from $7,000 to $25,000, the New York City Bar Association’s Legal Referral Service has launched a Civil Court Project. The project provides representation by well-qualified, screened attorneys at reduced fees. There are no income guidelines or restrictions on those who might benefit from the project. To find an attorney through the Civil Court Project, clients should call the Legal Referral Service at 212-626-7373, Monday through Friday between 8:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

“We see many individuals and small businesses with controversies in the range of $7,000 to $25,000 who often try to represent themselves pro se, ultimately harming their cases because they cannot find an affordable attorney,” said Allen Charne, Executive Director of the Legal Referral Service.

With New York City legal fees typically ranging between $300 and $700 per hour, such fees can easily exceed the amount at stake in a legal matter. In the Civil Court Project, participating attorneys charge a maximum retainer of $1,500 and a maximum hourly rate of $175. Within these guidelines, the fee is negotiable between the client and the attorney.

The Civil Court Project has established special panels in the areas of consumer litigation, collection matters, personal injury defense, commercial litigation and insurance matters. All attorneys participating in this project have been screened for their expertise in the given area and, generally, have more than 10 years of experience in civil litigation.

The Legal Referral Service has undertaken the Civil Court Project as part of its continuing effort to provide more affordable, reduced-fee legal services to the public and to assist in relieving the problems faced in the courts with a growing number of pro se litigants. This is the only City Bar project that undertakes reduced-fee representation in matters involving civil or commercial litigation.