LAWYERS FOR AFFORDABLE JUSTICE, INC. WEBSITE TERMS OF SERVICE
ATTORNEY TERMS OF SERVICE
Effective: January 22, 2018
- Acceptance of the Terms of Service
Welcome to the website of Lawyers for Affordable Justice, Inc. (“LAJ”). The following terms and conditions, together with any documents they expressly incorporate by reference (collectively, the “Terms of Service”), govern your access to and use of http://www.lawyers4aj.org (the “Website”), including any content, functionality and services offered on or through the Website.
This document represents the Terms of Service for the attorneys who participate in the LAJ lawyer referral program (the “Program”). If you are a consumer, a prospective client, an actual client of a participating lawyer, or any person other than a participating attorney, these terms of service do not apply to you. If you are a prospective client in need of legal services, please return to the Website homepage where you will find the Terms of Service for prospective clients.
The Program permits lawyers to receive referrals of clients for legal representation for a fee if only if you agree to the terms of the representation contained in these Terms of Service, and in particular the fee agreements detailed in Section 2 below. Your use of this website and participation in the Program constitute your agreement to abide by these terms.
This Website is offered and available to provide referrals to attorneys who are licensed to practice law in Massachusetts, and who agree to represent eligible clients at rates that comply with the requirements of this access-to-justice Program. By using this Website, you represent and warrant that you meet these eligibility requirements, and that you agree to the terms of the Program. If you do not meet all of these requirements, you must not access or use the Website.
- Attorney Participation Terms and Agreement
Each attorney participating in the LAJ Program agrees to honor the commitment of the Program to provide affordable legal services to eligible clients. By acceptance of these Terms of Service, you agree to the following:
2.1 As a precondition to your participation in the Program, you agree to pay to LAJ a monthly charge (the “Charge”), due before the first of the month that the Charge will cover. The Charge will be determined by LAJ and communicated to you. You will have access to the database of eligible clients seeking legal services through the Program for each month for which you have paid the Program monthly Charge, as determined from time to time by LAJ. Your access to the client database will be withheld during any given month if payment for that month has not been received by LAJ prior to the first of the month, until the time that such payment has been received by LAJ, at which point access will resume.
2.2 You acknowledge that each client referred to you through the Program will qualify for the Program services, which means that the client’s countable income will not exceed 400% of the federal poverty guidelines as in effect in Massachusetts at the time of the client’s application for legal services. You agree to confirm that eligibility at the time that the client retains your legal services.
2.3 You agree to charge the client a fee (either an hourly rate or a flat rate) that is determined by the Program to be substantially below the market rate changed by similarly-situated private attorneys practicing in the Greater Boston area for the entire scope of the representation arranged through the Program. LAJ agrees to provide to you guidelines to determine the rates below which the Program will deem acceptable and affordable.
2.4 The Program will inform each eligible client of the commitment described in Section 2.3 above, and will commit expressly to each client that your fees will not exceed the agreed-upon rate. It is a breach of this agreement for you to accept an eligible client through a referral made by LAJ and to charge that client fees in excess of that permitted by the Program. You agree not to enter into a separate representation agreement, with terms different from those described in this Section 2, with an eligible client referred to you by the Program without the express written consent of LAJ.
2.5 Nothing in this agreement limits you in any way from seeking to collect, and collecting, fees from a source other than the client, including fees awarded or negotiated pursuant to a fee-shifting provision of a relevant statute or contractual provision, or from agreeing with a client to a contingent fee arrangement that satisfies the provisions of Rules 1.5(c) and 1.5(f) of the Massachusetts Rules of Professional Conduct.
2.6 LAJ agrees that, in return for the monthly subscription Charge described in Section 2.1, LAJ will make its best efforts to provide regular mentoring and support to you and your practice. LAJ will also provide to you certain benefits, including free or discounted bar association membership and law practice management services, as it is able to locate for you.
2.7 You agree and acknowledge that LAJ and its Program do not constitute a law firm, and that LAJ will have no attorney-client relationship with any client referred to you through the Program. Any mentors offered to you through LAJ will not be agents of LAJ, and will not have attorney-client relationships with your clients except as expressly agreed upon with you and your clients. You agree to maintain appropriate protection of confidential and sensitive personal information, keeping all information received through the LAJ referral process confidential. You additionally agree to account for any possible conflicts of interest in your interactions with LAJ, the clients referred to you through the Program, and the mentors you encounter through the LAJ Program, and to take reasonable measures to avoid such conflicts.”
2.8 You may cease participation in the Program at any time, either by notice to LAJ at email@example.com, or by your choice not to pay the Program Charge for the next month.
- Changes to the Terms of Service
LAJ may revise and update these Terms of Service from time to time in its sole discretion. All changes are effective immediately when they are posted, and apply to all access to and use of the Website thereafter. Any revision or update to these Terms of Service will be accompanied by a change in the “Effective Date” at the top of these Terms of Service.
Your continued use of the Website following the posting of revised or updated Terms of Service means that you accept and agree to the changes. You are expected to check this page frequently so you are aware of any changes, as they are binding on you.
- Accessing the Website and Account Security
4.1. LAJ reserves the right to withdraw or amend the Website, and any service or material provided on the Website, in LAJ’s sole discretion and without notice. LAJ will not be liable if for any reason all or any part of the Website is unavailable at any time or for any period. From time to time, LAJ may restrict access to some parts of the Website, or the entire Website, to users.
4.2. You are responsible for:
- Making all arrangements necessary for you to have access to the Website; and
- Ensuring that all persons who access the Website through your Internet connection are aware of these Terms of Service and comply with them.
- Intellectual Property Rights
5.1. The Website and its entire contents, features and functionality (including but not limited to all data, software, text, displays, images, video and audio, and the design, selection and arrangement thereof), are owned by LAJ and are protected by United States copyright, trademark, patent, trade secret and other intellectual property laws.
5.2. These Terms of Service permit you to use the Website for your participation in the Program only. You must not reproduce, distribute, modify, create derivative works of, publicly display, publicly perform, republish, download, store or transmit any of the material on our Website, except as follows:
- Your computer may temporarily store copies of such materials in RAM incidental to your accessing and viewing those materials;
- You may store files that are automatically cached by your Web browser for display enhancement purposes; or
- If LAJ provides social media features with certain content, you make take such actions as are enabled by such features.
5.3. You must not:
- Modify copies of any materials from this Website;
- Use any illustrations, photographs, video or audio sequences or any graphics separately from the accompanying text; or
- Delete or alter any copyright, trademark or other proprietary rights notices from copies of materials from this site.
5.4. You must not access or use for any purposes other than your participation in the Program any part of the Website or any services or materials available through the Website.
5.5. If you wish to make any use of material on the Website other than that set out in this section, please address your request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
5.6. If you print, copy, modify, download or otherwise use or provide any other person with access to any part of the Website in breach of the Terms of Service, your right to use the Website will cease immediately and you must, at LAJ’s option, return or destroy any copies of the materials you have made. No right, title or interest in or to the Website or any content on the Website is transferred to you, and all rights not expressly granted are reserved by LAJ. Any use of the Website not expressly permitted by these Terms of Service is a breach of these Terms of Service and may violate copyright, trademark, and other laws.
- Reliance on Information Posted
The information presented on or through the Website is made available solely for general information purposes related to the Program and its efforts to match eligible clients with affordable legal services (“General Information”). LAJ does not warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this General Information. Any reliance you place on such General Information is strictly at your own risk. LAJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on such materials by you or any other visitor to the Website, or by anyone who may be informed of any of its contents.
This Website will include content provided by third parties, including prospective clients, participating lawyers, and advertisers. All statements and/or opinions expressed in these materials, other than the content expressly provided by LAJ, are solely the opinions and the responsibility of the person or entity providing those materials. These materials do not necessarily reflect the opinion of LAJ. LAJ is not responsible, or liable to you or any third party, for the content or accuracy of any materials provided by any third parties. It is your responsibility to review and confirm the accuracy of the representations made by any prospective client seeking affordable legal services through this Website.
- Changes to the Website
LAJ may update the content on this Website from time to time, but the Website’s content is not necessarily complete or up-to-date. Any of the material on the Website may be out of date at any given time, and LAJ is under no obligation to update such material.
- Collection of Personal Information
- Linking to the Website and Social Media Features
9.1. You may link to LAJ’s homepage, provided you do so in a way that is fair and legal and does not damage LAJ’s reputation or take advantage of it, but you must not establish a link in such a way as to suggest any form of association, approval or endorsement on the part of LAJ without LAJ’s express written consent.
9.2. This Website may provide certain social media features that enable you to:
- Link from your own or certain third-party websites to certain content on this Website; or
- Cause limited portions of the content on this Website to be displayed or appear to be displayed on your own or certain third-party websites.
9.3. You may use these features solely as they are provided by LAJ, and solely with respect to the content they are displayed with. Subject to the foregoing, you must not:
- Establish a link from any website that is not owned by you;
- Cause the Website or portions of it to be displayed, or appear to be displayed by, for example, framing, deep linking or in-line linking, on any other site;
- Link to any part of the Website other than the homepage;
- Otherwise take any action with respect to the materials on this Website that is inconsistent with any other provision of these Terms of Service.
9.4. You agree to cooperate with LAJ in causing any unauthorized framing or linking immediately to cease. LAJ reserves the right to withdraw linking permission without notice.
9.5. LAJ may disable all or any social media features and any links at any time without notice in LAJ’s sole discretion.
- Links from the Website
If the Website contains links to other sites and resources provided by third parties, these links are provided for your convenience only. This includes links contained in advertisements, including banner advertisements and sponsored links. LAJ has no control over the contents of those sites or resources, and accepts no responsibility for them or for any loss or damage that may arise from your use of them. If you decide to access any of the third party websites linked to this Website, you do so entirely at your own risk and subject to the terms and conditions of use for such websites.
- Geographic Restrictions
LAJ is based in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. LAJ provides this Website for use only by persons located in the United States and makes no claims that the Website or any of its content is accessible or appropriate outside of the United States. Access to the Website may not be legal by certain persons or in certain countries. If you access the Website from outside the United States, you do so on your own initiative and are responsible for compliance with local laws.
- Disclaimer of Warranties
You understand that LAJ cannot and does not guarantee or warrant that files available for downloading from the Internet or the Website will be free of viruses or other destructive code. You are responsible for implementing sufficient procedures and checkpoints to satisfy your particular requirements for anti-virus protection and accuracy of data input and output, and for maintaining a means external to our site for any reconstruction of any lost data. LAJ will not be liable for any loss or damage caused by a distributed denial-of-service attack, viruses, or other technologically harmful material that may infect your computer equipment, computer programs, data, or other proprietary material due to your use of the Website.
Your use of the Website, its content, and any services or items obtained through the Website is at your own risk. The Website, its content, and any services or items obtained through the Website are provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis, without any warranties of any kind, either express or implied. Neither LAJ nor any person associated with LAJ makes any warranty or representation with respect to the completeness, security, reliability, quality, accuracy, or availability of the Website. LAJ hereby disclaims all warranties of any kind, whether express or implied, statutory or otherwise, including but not limited to any warranties of merchantability, non-infringement, and fitness for a particular purpose. The foregoing does not affect any warranties which cannot be excluded or limited under applicable law.
- Limitation on Liability
In no event will LAJ, its affiliates, licensors, employees, agents, officers, or directors be liable for damages of any kind, under any legal theory, arising out of or in connection of your use, or inability to use, the Website. The foregoing does not affect any liability that cannot be excluded or limited under applicable law.
You agree to defend, indemnify, and hold harmless LAJ, its affiliates, licensors, and their respective officers, directors, employees, contractors, agents, licensors, suppliers, successors and assigns from and against any claims, liabilities, damages, judgments, awards, losses, costs, expenses, or fees (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising out of or relating to your violation of these Terms of Service or your use of the Website, including, but not limited to, any use of the Website’s content, services and products other than as expressly authorized in these Terms of Service.
- Governing Law
All matters relating to the Website and these Terms of Service and any dispute or claim arising therefrom or related thereto (in each case, including non-contractual disputes or claims), shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the internal laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- Dispute Resolution
You agree to attempt in good faith to resolve any dispute, claim, or controversy arising out of or relating to these Terms of Service, including the documents it incorporates by reference. In the event that the dispute, claim or controversy is not resolved by these negotiations, the matter will be submitted to Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, Inc. (“JAMS”), or its successor, for mediation and, if the matter is not resolved through mediation, then it shall be submitted to JAMS, or its successor, for final and binding arbitration. Nonetheless, legal action taken by LAJ to collect any fees, recover damages for, or obtain an injunction relating to, the operations of the Website operations or intellectual property shall not be submitted to mediation or arbitration except as otherwise agreed to in writing by LAJ. In addition, either you or LAJ may seek any interim or preliminary relief from a court of competent jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts necessary to protect the rights or property of you or LAJ pending the completion of arbitration.
- Waiver and Severability
No waiver by LAJ of any term or condition set forth in these Terms of Service shall be deemed a further or continuing waiver of such term or condition or a waiver of any other term or condition, and any failure of LAJ to assert a right or provision under these Terms of Service shall not constitute a waiver of such right or provision.
If any provision of these Terms of Service is held by a court or other tribunal of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable for any reason, such provision shall be eliminated or limited to the minimum extent such that the remaining provisions of the Terms of Service will continue in full force and effect.
- Comments and Concerns
This website is operated by Lawyers for Affordable Justice, Inc.
All other feedback, comments, requests for technical support and other communications relating to the Website should be directed to: email@example.com.