JKS Policy: Privacy, Billing, Record Retention

Privacy and Confidentiality. As your attorney, the firm owes you a duty to keep all private information confidential from other parties.  The “attorney-client privilege” prevents Jones, Kuriloff & Sargent, LLC (also referred to as JKS) or any employee or agent of the firm from disclosing any information about you to anyone without permission – even other members of your family. 

Conflicts of Interest.  It is our duty to represent your interests to the best of our ability.  We attempt to do our due diligence early in the relationship to confirm that we do not have a conflict of interest in representing you, but new information may arise later that creates an issue.  If this occurs, we will work with you to transition your matter to new counsel.

Electronic Communications. If you provide us with an email address, we take this as permission to communicate with you by email, send digital documents for review, and ask for electronic signatures via Docusign to expedite transactions and reduce paper usage.  Please be aware that communications made via fax, computer transmission, or phone are generally less secure.

Fees and Costs.  You are responsible for paying all legal fees and reimbursable costs, which are billed after the end of each calendar month. Retainers, if applicable, are exhausted first.  We reserve the right to stop working on your matter if any bill is not paid within 30 days.  We have outlined our current hourly rates, or other agreed upon fee structure, in the engagement letter.  Hourly rates are subject to change without notice.  We bill in increments of one-tenth of an hour (6 minutes).

Our firm does not generally charge clients for the expenses of ordinary postage, faxes, or copies made in our office.  All of these “internal costs” are built into the hourly fees.  The cost of mileage may be charged at the applicable Federal mileage reimbursement rate.  You will be required to reimburse the law firm for any out of pocket disbursements made on your behalf, such as UPS, Federal Express, or other private delivery services, copies made by an outside contractor, recording or filing fees and fees for copies of documents purchased from the Register of Deeds, Register of Probate, or Secretary of State, excess postage (over $1 per item), and similar “out-of-pocket” expenses.

If a set or estimated fee was provided to you, it includes only legal work described in the letter to which this Addendum is attached.  If you ask our firm to do any legal work not specifically described in the Terms of Engagement letter, we will charge for the time it takes to complete the additional work.  No such additional work is included in any estimate of time or fees noted in the engagement letter.

Cooperation, Communication, and Withdrawal.  You agree to be truthful and cooperative with us, to respond to our inquiries and communications promptly and to provide promptly all information known or available that may be relevant to our engagement. You will provide us with factual information and materials as we require in order to perform the foregoing services.  If an issue arises where our communications are no longer productive, an adversarial relationship seems to be forming, or payment is not forthcoming, we reserve the right to withdraw from the matter and terminate the relationship.

Termination of Engagement.  You may terminate this representation at any time with or without cause by notifying us in writing of your desire to do so. We will cease legal work immediately. You will be responsible for paying all legal fees incurred on your behalf in this matter until written notice of termination is received by our firm.

To the extent permitted by rules of professional responsibility and the court, we may terminate our representation at any time if you breach any material term of this agreement, fail to cooperate or follow our advice on a material matter, if a conflict of interest develops or is discovered, or if there exists, at any time, any fact or circumstance that would, in our opinion, render our continuing representation unlawful, unethical, or otherwise inappropriate.

Retention and Destruction of Files. At the conclusion of this engagement original documents can be returned to you at your request, unless we agree to hold them in safekeeping at your request.  Our firm will keep copies of the documents for at least eight years.  Our current practice is to maintain scanned copies of all legal documents and other significant components of the file in digital format.  We often have printed copies as well; however, we may, as permitted by Maine law, discard the paper copies at any time, so long as we maintain the scanned copies for eight years from the conclusion of the engagement.

Our policy of discarding or destroying documents in your file does not apply to any original legal documents, such as signed original business or estate planning documents you have left for safekeeping with the firm.

No Continuing Duty to Update on Changes to the Law.  Once this matter has concluded, our representation of you in this matter will end. From that date forward, we will have no duty to inform you of changes in the law that may affect you or any legal instruments or documents that we prepared on your behalf. If at a later date you would like us to advise you on any changes in the law or review any legal instruments or documents, please contact us to renew your engagement.

rev. 6/19/2023