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Michael S. Stein Quoted in Law360 Regarding NJ Cases to Watch in 2022


Michael S. Stein, firm Chair and Managing Partner of Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in the Law360 article, “NJ Cases To Watch In 2022: Attorney Arbitration, ABC Test.” The article discusses notable upcoming cases, including the New Jersey Supreme Court weighing the Supreme Court’s Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics’ recommendations to bar arbitration clauses in attorney retainer agreements and to reconsider its decision in Delaney v. Dickey.  In the Delaney case, the Court held that attorney retainer agreements may contain provisions mandating arbitration of future fee disputes or legal malpractice claims as long as the attorneys explain the pros and cons of arbitrating such matters.  The article noted that 14 of the 18 members of the Committee found it "fundamentally unfair" to require a client to agree to such clauses at the beginning of a lawyer's representation, when they have a "power imbalance."

Michael S. Stein of Pashman Stein Walder Hayden PC, who represented the Bergen County Bar Association as amicus [in the Delaney v. Dickey case], challenged what he called the majority's belief that arbitrations would be "inherently tilted" in favor of lawyers. While a law firm may prefer arbitration, there are many reasons why a client also might, including that "generally it's more efficient and cheaper than litigation," he said.

"You lose your right of appeal, but the flip side of that is you gain finality without having to worry about having to spend extra money," said Stein, adding that "with appropriate disclosures, I have no problem at all with the ability to call for an arbitration provision in your engagement letter."

To view the full article, click here

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