Ethics Opinion 198

By Committee on Professional Ethics

NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
Professional Ethics Committee Opinions

Opinion #198 – 09/30/1971 (32-71)

Topic: Minimum Fees
Digest: Minimum fee schedule is only a guide
Code: DR 2-106(B); EC 2-18

QUESTION

Is the attorney for a bank bound to follow the minimum fee schedule in determining his fees for services performed in the collection of accounts in large volume?

OPINION

Minimum fee schedules are only to be used as guide in determining an attorney’s fees. Drinker Legal Ethics 175 (1953); Wise Legal Ethics 230 (2nd ed. 1970); ABA 323 (1970); N.Y. State 8 (1965); EC 2-18.The fee customarily charged in the locality for similar services has long been recognized as one element to be considered in determining a proper fee. DR 2-106 (B) (3). Where the customary minimum charge is reflected in a fee schedule, it is proper for a lawyer to take this into account along with other elements in fixing his fee.

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