The expense of litigation can effectively put it out of reach for many people, and prospective clients have to seriously consider whether any proposed litigation is worth the expense, effort and risk of not prevailing. In some cases, such as when you are sued or seriously injured by someone, you may have little choice but to become involved in litigation.
It is important to not start in on litigation and then be unable to complete it, or to be unable to complete it well, due to financial constraints. Therefore, it is imperative that the client and firm enter into any litigation under a fee arrangement which is fair and reasonable to both parties and under which each party can realistically perform. The fee arrangement agreed upon should support the litigation and not develop into a problem in the litigation.
Frequently, we handle litigation matters on a straight hourly fee basis. However, sometimes it is appropriate for our firm to handle cases on a different fee basis. In those cases, we may be able to handle your case on either a contingent fee basis, where no hourly or time-based attorney’s fees are charged but our firm would be entitled to a percentage of any recovery in the case, or on a blended fee basis, where the client is typically charged a reduced hourly fee but the firm is also entitled to a percentage of any recovery (although typically a smaller percentage than in a straight contingent fee case). It is also possible, although relatively uncommon, that a case could be handled on a flat rate basis.
In all types of fee arrangements, clients are generally responsible for all out-of-pocket costs incurred in the case (filing fees, witness fees, postage, etc.), in addition to whatever professional fee is agreed upon.
If you would like to discuss any potential litigation or possible fee arrangements with one of our experienced attorneys, please feel free to call and schedule an appointment.
Disclaimer – The foregoing are observations and opinions of the author. It is not legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. The law is complicated and there are exceptions. You should always discuss your particular facts and circumstances with a qualified attorney.