Online Attorney-Client Agreement
Real Estate Tax Assessment Appeal (Full Representation)
1. PARTIES AND FORMATION OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT AGREEMENT: This Attorney-Client agreement has been entered into between the client who acknowledges this agreement ("Client") and authorizes Michael E. Byczek, an Illinois attorney, ("Attorney") to represent him/her/them, and Attorney, who has agreed to provide Client the below described legal services.
This written agreement is provided to Client through the Attorney's online store (www.byczeklaw.com) as part of a virtual legal office. Client was informed prior to sending payment to read and acknowledge this agreement. Confirmation of acknowledgement shall be sent via email to both Attorney and Client after Client enters his/her name through a website form and clicks the submit button.
An attorney-client relationship does not exist until both payment is received and this attorney-client agreement is acknowledged. If Client sends payment without acknowledging this agreement, Attorney shall provide an opportunity for Client to do so both online and in paper-format.
If the real estate is owned by more than one person (i.e. a married couple), each owner must submit their own written attorney-client agreement.
CLIENT IS INFORMED NOT TO SEND PAYMENT UNLESS ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THAT HE/SHE UNDERSTANDS THE LEGAL SERVICES BEING REQUESTED AND THAT THESE SERVICES ARE ONLY AVAILABLE TO ILLINOIS RESIDENTS OR FOR REAL ESTATE LOCATED IN ILLINOIS.
Attorney shall provide Client with every reasonable opportunity to acknowledge the attorney-client agreement if payment is sent first.
2. SCOPE OF LEGAL REPRESENTATION: Attorney shall fully represent Client to file and submit all required documents for one residential real estate tax assessment appeal to one county or state government agency based on the Client's preferences. Attorney shall not make, and Client voluntarily waives, any personal appearance for a hearing.
Client shall notarize an affidavit of legal ownership prior to attorney submitting the appeal documents (required for an attorney to represent a client during a tax appeal).
The most common type of appeal is based on lack of uniformity. This requires research of comparable properties that are taxed at a lower assessment. Another form of appeal is based on an on-site appraisal. It is Client's decision how to proceed with the appeal.
Depending on which county in Illinois the real estate is located, there may be two or three different government agencies with their own appeal deadlines throughout the tax year. Each government agency is a separate appeal. For example, for property located in Cook County there are three options to submit an appeal (Cook County Assessor, Cook County Board of Review, and State of Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board). The scope of legal representation shall only cover one appeal at a time and each appeal shall require a separate written agreement with a separate fee. If the government requires any fees during the appeal (payable to the government), the Client is responsible for those fees, not the Attorney. Scope of legal representation ends when the government issues a final decision.
Under this attorney-client agreement, Attorney shall provide Client with documents for one-time personal use.
After payment is received, Client shall be given access to a secure file sharing and collaboration platform. It is through this collaborative platform that Attorney shall request the necessary details to complete the documents. The finalized document shall be uploaded to the collaborative platform for Client to securely download the files. All documents and files that are part of these legal services are transferred between Attorney and Client through a secure collaborative file sharing platform.
3. LIMITATION OF ATTORNEY DUTIES: Attorney shall, through professional courtesy, answer reasonable questions from Client about the documents. Attorney shall not answer any question that extends beyond clarification or constitutes general legal advice about real estate.
4. LEGAL FEES: Client shall pay Attorney an upfront flat-fee of $99 prior to delivery of the above described documents. All documents shall be delivered via a secure collaborative file sharing platform and/or submitted to the appropriate local government agency.
Only one fee is required (a total of $99) regardless of how many individuals are involved with ownership, with regard to each submitting their own written agreement. It doesn't matter who sends the payment. Only one payment of $99 is required per appeal.
5. CLIENT REPRESENTATIONS: Client represents that they are the owner of real estate located in Illinois. Client further represents that they intend to use the documents obtained from Attorney for lawful purposes.
Prospective clients are instructed not to request legal services, sign this agreement, or send any payment if they are not the legal owners of the real estate for which the tax assessment is being appealed.
An attorney cannot be required to engage in conduct which is illegal, unethical, or fraudulent. An attorney who cannot ethically abide by a client's directions shall be allowed to withdraw from representation.
6. TERMINATION OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP: Client may terminate this agreement at any time for any reason through written notice. Attorney reserves the right to withdraw from representing Client in certain limited circumstances, such as Client's refusal to provide requested information.
7. COMMUNICATION BETWEEN ATTORNEY AND CLIENT: Client consents for Attorney to contact them through text message, phone call, email, social media, or postal service. All notices that are required by this agreement shall be in writing, which includes email. Digital signatures satisfy any signature requirement. Client shall be truthful in all discussions with Attorney and provide all information or documentation required to enable Attorney to provide competent representation. Client shall provide Attorney with changes to contact details.
8. GENERAL PROVISIONS: This written contract represents the entire agreement between the parties. Client acknowledges having read and understood the entire document. The contract cannot be amended or modified except in writing and acknowledged by all parties. Any dispute shall be reviewed pursuant to the Illinois Supreme Court Rules (Article VIII - Illinois Rules of Professional Conduct of 2010).
CLIENT INFORMATION: Client is advised not to accept any agreement that Client finds to be unsatisfactory or does not understand.
ATTORNEY INFORMATION: Attorney shall provide competent representation, which requires legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness and preparation to handle those matters set forth in the written engagement agreement. Once employed, Attorney shall act with reasonable diligence and promptness, as well as use best efforts on behalf of Client, but cannot guarantee results. During the course of representation and afterwards, Attorney may not use or reveal a client's confidence or secrets, except as required or permitted by law.
Michael E. Byczek, Attorney at Law
(Sole Practitioner licensed in Illinois)
Online Store: www.byczeklaw.com
Po Box 5983
Chicago, IL 60680-5983
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