Frequently Asked Questions About Retaining a Lawyer to Represent You:

Q. When would I need a lawyer's assistance?

A. If the amount of damage is less than $5,000.00 in Maryland and between $5,000.00 and $10,000 in New York (depending on where you live), the matter can be brought in a "Small Claims Court."
These courts are inexpensive and easy to use and do not require that you be represented by a lawyer.

You can find more information about small claims in New York by following this link:

You can find more information about small claims in Maryland by following this link:

If the matter cannot be brought in small claims you should strongly consider retaining a lawyer to represent you because the courts will require that the parties comply with their rules of procedure and evidence.

Q. What do you charge for your services?

A. It depends.

If there are substantial damages involved, and sufficient facts to establish liability, I will offer my services on a contingency fee basis, which means that there will be no fee unless the case is resolved in the client's favor by settlement or after a trial. The fee would be a percentage that would be agreed to by the client and set forth in a written fee agreement.

In other cases, I will offer my services on an hourly fee basis. My standard fee is $475.00 per hour but, depending on the circumstances of the matter, I may quote a lesser hourly rate, and set a maximum fee that will be charged.

Q. Will I be charged for calling your office to seek representation?

A. No. I do not charge for the initial consultation with prospective clients. I will never charge you for my services without us first entering into a written fee agreement setting forth the terms of my representation and how I will be compensated.

During the initial consultation I will ask you to provide you full name and the name of any possible opposing parties. I need this information to make sure that I have no conflict of interest that would prevent me from representing you.

I will also ask that you tell me what has happened to you and how you have been injured.

All of the information you provide me will be kept confidential and not disclosed to anyone, whether or not I ultimately represent you.

Please understand, that I will not be considered your lawyer unless and until we have entered into a written fee agreement setting forth the terms of my representation and how I will be compensation.

Q. What should I expect if I retain you as my attorney?

A. You should expect that I would not have agreed to represent you unless I had sufficient knowledge of the law that applies to your issue.

You should also expect that I will meet the deadlines that apply to the dispute, including the deadline to file any complaint, and any additional deadlines established by the court.

I will respond to your emails and telephone calls as soon as possible and provide regular updates about the matter.

Q. What will be expected of me as a client?

A. The key to a successful representation is communication between the client and the attorney.

The client must be completely honest with the lawyer at all times and immediately advice the lawyer of any change of mailing address, telephone numbers, or email addresses.

The client must also keep the information shared with the lawyer confidential so as to preserve the attorney-client privilege and not jeopardize the client's case.

Frequently Asked Questions About Maryland's Automobile Lemon Law:

Q. Is my vehicles covered by the Maryland lemon law?

A. Your vehicle is covered by the Maryland lemon law if:

(1) it is registered in Maryland as a Class A passenger vehicle; Class D motorcycle; Class E truck with a 3/4 ton or less manufacturer's rated capacity; or Class M multipurpose vehicle;

(2) The defect or problem with the vehicle occurred during the motor vehicle's first 18,000 miles of operation, or 24 months following the date of the vehicles original delivery to the first purchaser or lessee:

(3) You are the purchaser or lessee of the vehicle, or a person to whom the motor vehicle was transferred during the motor vehicle's first 18,000 miles of operation, or 24 months following the date of the vehicles original delivery to the first purchaser or lessee.

Q. What is covered by the Lemon Law?

A. The Lemon Law covers any defect or condition that is covered by the Manufacturer's warranty, that presently exists, and that substantially impairs the use and market value of the motor vehicle to the consumer.

Q. What steps must I take?

A. First, report the problem to the manufacture by sending written notice to the manufacturer or lessor by certified mail, return receipt requested.

Second, provide the manufacturer or its authorized dealer with an opportunity to fix the problem, which must occur within 30 days of the manufacturer's receipt of the consumer's written notification.

Q. What happens if the vehicle cannot be repaired?

A. If the manufacturer is unable to repair or correct any nonconformity after a reasonable number of repair attempts and the nonconformity continues to exist, the manufacturer must, at the option of the consumer, either replace or repurchase the motor vehicle.

The Maryland Lemon Law creates a presumption that a manufacturer has had a reasonable number of repair attempts if:

(1) four or more attempts have been made to fix the problem, without success:

(2) the vehicle has been out of service for a cumulative total of 30 or more days because of the problem;

(3) a problem with the braking or steering system has not been repaired after the first try.

Q. When can a lawyer help with Lemon Law claims?

A. Most manufacturers have established and informal, non-binding, dispute settlement procedure, usually involving the Better Business Bureau.

Using this procedure does not preclude you from pursuing your claim in court, if you are not satisfied. A lawyer can help you at this point.

Frequently Asked Questions About Landlord Tenant Issues in New York:

Q. Is there a document that sets forth the rights of tenants in New York?

A. Yes. The Attorney General has published a Residential Tenants' Rights Guide that can be found at this link:

Q. What are my rights if the lease has an automatic renewal clause?

A. If the lease contains an automatic renewal clause, the landlord must give the tenant advanced notice of the existence of this clause between 15 and 30 days before the tenant is required to notify the landlord of an intention not to renew the lease.

There are other notice requirements that apply if the landlord intends to renew the lease with a rent increase of more than 5% or to not renew the lease.

Q. Can I be charged a late fee?

A. Yes, but a rent payment can only be considered late if it is received more than five days after the due date. The late charge can be no more than the lesser of $50 or 5% of the monthly rent.

Q. What happens if I leave the property before the lease ends?

A. If you leave before the lease ends, the landlord must make a good-faith effort to rent the property to a new tenants. If the new tenant's rent is the same as or greater than the rent you were supposed to pay, the lease is considered terminates and you will not be liable to pay rent for the time after you left. You would remain responsible for any rent for the time when the landlord was unable to find a new tenant for the property.

Q. What should I do when facing eviction?

A. An attorney can help with eviction issues and explain the circumstances when you might be able to stay in the rental unit.

There are free legal service provides that can represent tenants who qualify for their services. You can find these provides at

Q. What are my rights if the rental unit is not safe or sanitary?

A. Every written or oral residential lease includes an implied right to a livable, safe and sanitary apartment.

If a landlord breaches this implied warranty of habitability, the tenant may sue for a rent reduction.

The tenant may also withhold rent, but in response, the landlord may sue the tenant for non-payment of rent. In such case, the tenant may countersue for breach of the warranty.