Legal fees are a major concern of all clients. The cost of legal representation is high, and the cost of litigation can be prohibitive. We recognize these financial realities, and we attempt to structure fee arrangements that make sense for both our clients and ourselves.
The hourly fee is still the predominant fee arrangement in this country, despite a movement toward alternative arrangements in recent years. And in many cases, the hourly arrangement remains the most practical one because it is based on the actual amount of time and effort the lawyer devotes to a matter. We normally employ an hourly fee structure when we are negotiating severance packages or settlements of claims before suit is filed, and when we are defending rather than prosecuting claims.
However, we often enter into contingent fee and other alternative fee arrangements when the situation warrants such an arrangement. Most individuals cannot afford to fund a lawsuit out-of-pocket, so we are open to contingent fee arrangements when we believe the case is strong enough to justify the risk that we will not be paid if the case does not result in a recovery for the client. Under a contingent fee arrangement, the client owes no attorney fees unless and until there is a settlement or legal resolution that results in a monetary recovery for the client, in which case we receive a percentage of the recovery as our fee. The size of our fee percentage depends upon several factors, including the nature of the case and the stage of litigation at which a recovery is achieved. If there is no recovery, we receive no legal fee. We normally expect the client to be responsible for and to pay the out-of-pocket costs of litigation as they are incurred, for such things as filing fees, deposition costs, travel expenses, and so forth. The specifics of any contingent fee agreement are carefully spelled out in a written fee agreement so that there is no question about our mutual obligations when the case is over.
In addition to the traditional hourly and contingent fee arrangements, we are amenable to discussing alternative arrangements that might involve flat fees, reduced hourly combined with contingent fees, and other creative arrangements that make sense for the client and for us.
In any arrangement that does not involve a guaranteed payment per-hour for our services, we are assuming some risk that there may not be a recovery, and that we therefore may not receive compensation for our services. In exchange for our assumption of that risk, we expect to be well-rewarded for a successful outcome. Our non-hourly fee arrangements reflect this risk-benefit evaluation and provide for a fee commensurate with the risk and the result.
For more information, read about how we handle cases, our representative cases, and what clients say about us to help you determine if we are the right firm for you. Contact us for any questions you want to address in person. We are happy to help.