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FAQ's About the Reduced Fee Program


PURPOSE - The purpose of the Reduced Fee Program (RFP) is to extend the MCBA Lawyer Referral Service to people who cannot afford to pay attorneys fees at rates which would ordinarily be charged AND who do not qualify for free legal assistance from the Middlesex County Legal Services Corporation or other no cost legal services.


The Reduced Fee Program is also designed to make opportunities available to member attorneys to provide a public service by rendering legal services to persons who could not otherwise afford to receive such services.


SUPERVISION - The Reduced Fee Program is run in conjunction with the Middlesex County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service.  The LRS Administrator will manage all aspects of the program under the supervision of the Association’s Executive Director and Lawyer Referral Service Committee.


LAWYERS RESPONSIBILITIES - Panel members must provide each prospective client referred with an initial consultation and agree to collect a $30 client application fee prior to the initial consultation. Panel members are allowed to cancel the initial consultation if the application fee is not paid in advance.


PRIMARY GOAL FOR THE PUBLIC - Access to the justice system with legal representation at an affordable price.


PRIMARY GOALS FOR THE ATTORNEY - Public Service; Law Practice Experience; Income Potential; Establish a Client Base


PARTICIPATION - The Reduced Fee Program will match clients in need with licensed attorneys who are members of the Middlesex County Bar Association.  Attorney participation in the Reduced Fee Program is open to the Middlesex County Bar Association’s general membership.


REDUCED FEE PROGRAM PRACTICE AREAS - The Reduced Fee Program will refer clients in the following practice areas of law:

  • Bankruptcy (Chapter 7 Only)
  • Criminal Matters
  • Expungements
  • Family Matters
  • Foreclosures (Defense Only)
  • Landlord/Tenant (Tenant Only)
  • Municipal Court Matters
  • Name Change
  • Small Claims & Special Civil Part Actions
  • Tort Defense

Income Eligibility Guidelines


ATTORNEY RETAINER AND FEE SCHEDULE - Upon qualification and if the attorney agrees to undertake representation of the person referred, panel members agree to limit counsel fees to $75 per hour in accordance with the following retainer/flat fee schedule:


Case Type
Case Type
Bankruptcy (Chapter 7)
Municipal Court
Child Visitation $450.00 Municipal Court (DWI) $375.00
Child Support or Modification $450.00 Name Change $300.00
Criminal $750.00 Post-Judgment Enforcement Orders $525.00
Custody Dispute $1,500.00 Small Claims $225.00
Divorce (Contested) $1,750.00 Special Civil Part Claims $300.00
Divorce (Simple) $375.00 Tenant $225.00
Domestic Violence $375.00 Tort Defense $750.00
Expungement $300.00 Unemployment Appeals $375.00
Foreclosures (Defense Only) $600.00 Unmarried Child Support & Custody $750.00
Juvenile Court $375.00

PANEL MEMBERSHIP COSTS - Participation in the RFP is open to the general membership and is free.  The RFP is separate from the Percentage Fee Program and participation in both programs is not required.


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