Thursday, March 1, 2012

Interesting comment on legal fees from a contributor to our blog

I usually don't publish comments on a post page but thought this comment was interesting.  Informative for those of you who have hired counsel to represent you.  the comment follows from a contributor:

Remember to do your research if you are going to hire an experienced lawyer.

Contingency fees are open to negotiation between attorney and client.
You do not have to agree to the contingency fees (usually 33%) that they initially offer. Say you will only sign for 20% or 25%, you have nothing to lose. You have the power and they want your case since these cases will be won and may be settled before trial.

Also, ask whether the lawyer will calculate the fee before or after the expenses. This can make a substantial difference, since calculating the percentage of the attorney's fee after the expenses have been deducted increases the amount of money you receive.

Fees can be negotiated in other ways. For example: 25% if you settle before trial, 30% if you go to trial and 40% if you go to appeal. This will encourage your lawyer to work for your interests instead of grabbing the first settlement that comes along.

Some clients also prefer to pay their lawyers on a sliding scale. For example, 33 percent for the first $100,000 in damages, 25 percent for the next $100,000, and 15 percent above that.

Don't just accept what the lawyer offers as contingency fees.
Do your research on contingency fees before you sign with an experienced lawyer.

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