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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Contingency Fee Contract

    My question involves malpractice by a lawyer in the state of: Washington St.

    I represent my late father in a personal injury lawsuit that he started with a firm before his passing. The firm I'm working with just sent me a contingency fee contract, since settlement money from some of the defendants are coming through.

    My first question is, shouldn't have have signed this, or some sort of retainer fee contract when he began the lawsuit?

    Second, they state the following:

    For any matter, defendant, claim or submission settled of otherwise resolved, an amount equal to 40% of any recovery, remedy, whether by way of settlement, claim approval, judgment or otherwise.

    Attorney's fees provided for herein in the percentage of 50%, will be shared with the referring attorney. The Client understand and consents to this fee sharing and that this arrangement between the attorneys will not be the cause of any increase in fees to the client.

    This contract does not cover representation for any appeal. Should an appeal be necessary, the fee arrangement on appeal with be negotiated at that time.
    From my standpoint, it seems pretty high, especially considering that there has been no trials, and there doesn't appear to be any upcoming. It has mainly been settlements coming through.

    Is there a way to negotiate this to a lower fee? Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
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    Behind a Desk
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    72,985

    Default Re: Contingency Fee Contract

    I expect that your father signed a fee agreement, and that they want you as administrator to sign one that has the same terms simply to reaffirm the agreement. Is that what happened?

    If you want to try to negotiate a reduction of the fee, you can call the firm and try to negotiate.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Contingency Fee Contract

    I'm not sure about that. I have left a message for them to contact me concerning the contract and am waiting to hear back.

    From what I'm reading online, it sounds like most agreements have more of an escalating fee structure. Where do I stand if I try to set that up, and they don't agree to it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    72,985

    Default Re: Contingency Fee Contract

    If there's already a fee agreement, I would expect them to go to the court and argue that they deserve their fee under the agreement, either as a term of the original contract or as a matter of quantum meruit (amount merited) for their work (if the estate is said to have created some form of lapse).

    If you want to try to negotiate a reduction of the fee, you can call the firm and try to negotiate.

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