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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    5

    Default What Fees and Costs Can Your Lawyer Recover On Top of a Contingency Fee

    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Discrimination/retaliation case. This case was settle at Mediation and right after signing the settlement the attorney said he had hired an Expert which the client was unaware of. After getting 40%.........I would like to know the fees are correct, why he even charged the client for LEXIS fee and stuff. Please help and let me know it's correct and should the client do if she disagree with the fees. Thanks in advance.


    Filling Fee $ 411.00 LM
    Service Fee $ 38.00 LM
    Mail $ 94.16 LM
    Depo. $ $345.00 LM
    Video $150.00 LM
    Copy cost $ 89.00 LM
    Parking $ 26.00 LM
    Toll $ 2.00 LM
    LEXIS $ $459.84 LM
    Expert $ 385.00 LM

    $ 2, 000.00

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    479

    Default Re: Help

    Your question doesn't really involve employment law (your case may have).

    We cannot know from here what your retainer agreement said about costs being billable on top of the 40% (it should outline that). An attorney isn't obligated to detail every expense incurred to the client in advance of incurring it. You didn't post the name of your state, but the state bar may have a fee dispute program.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    24,106

    Default Re: Fees

    A fee dispute is not employment law (even if your case was). We have no way of knowing whether the fees are correct. How would you expect us to know how much he paid for copies, or parking, or mail, or anything else? We can't read your fee agreement from here.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Help

    State Of Florida, I do agree he is entitled to 40% but I think the costs are very excessive. I don't believe an Expert was hired or worked on the case. First he told me that he paid the $1500 and then when I tried to dispute it he said he is going to low it down. He even tried to charge me for treatment that the company already paid for. I know LEXIS is a total research company, I wonder why he charged LEXIS fees $459.84.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Help

    In terms of costs, I expect that you were given the option of (a) being personally responsible for costs in the event of a loss in court, but having the costs deducted before the calculation of the fee, or (b) having no risk of loss on the case, but having the costs deducted from your share of the recovery. That would be reflected in your retainer agreement.

    The fee agreement will describe what fees and costs are payable by the client. If the client's case required the lawyer to incur online research fees (Lexis) beyond what's included in his subscription (or if he doesn't have a subscription), and the contract allows the attorney to recover those costs from the client (and I expect it does) then they're recoverable.

    I expect that the retainer agreement authorizes the attorney to retain experts, and provides for the recovery of their fees.

    If you're not the client, why is the lawyer even talking to you?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Help

    Mr. Knowitall, I just did my own lil research online. Based on the info I retrieved, the attorney is not supposed to charge you for LEXIS fee. Here what I found:

    "The following are items which should not be charged to you, even if your lawyer does have a receipt:

    Outsourced legal research – There are legal research businesses which charge lawyers to research an issue and provide them with a memorandum summarizing the relevant cases. Some also draft motions and other court documents for your lawyer. You should not pay for these services. If your lawyer wants to outsource his research and writing jobs, he should eat that cost. You pay him his attorney fee to do this work. If he didn’t feel qualified enough to do his own research and writing, he shouldn’t have taken your case. If he was just too busy (or lazy) to do the work himself, it’s not your fault and you don’t have to pay for it. If your lawyer wants to fight you over this type of expense, take it to the state bar."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,673

    Default Re: What Fees and Costs Can Your Lawyer Recover On Top of a Contingency Fee

    Quote Quoting School04
    View Post
    My question involves labor and employment law for the state of: Discrimination/retaliation case. This case was settle at Mediation and right after signing the settlement the attorney said he had hired an Expert which the client was unaware of. After getting 40%.........I would like to know the fees are correct, why he even charged the client for LEXIS fee and stuff. Please help and let me know it's correct and should the client do if she disagree with the fees. Thanks in advance.


    Filling Fee $ 411.00 LM
    Service Fee $ 38.00 LM
    Mail $ 94.16 LM
    Depo. $ $345.00 LM
    Video $150.00 LM
    Copy cost $ 89.00 LM
    Parking $ 26.00 LM
    Toll $ 2.00 LM
    LEXIS $ $459.84 LM
    Expert $ 385.00 LM

    $ 2, 000.00
    How much was the actual settlement?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Help

    A Lexis fee is not outsourced legal research. It's an access fee for an online database.

    Also, that site is incorrect. If you contract with your lawyer such that he's permitted to subcontract work to others, he most certainly can charge you for that. He shouldn't charge for clerical work, either his own staff's time or outsourced clerical work, but that's something else entirely.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,673

    Default Re: Help

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    A Lexis fee is not outsourced legal research. It's an access fee for an online database.
    Agreed...and Lexis has two types of subscription plans, transactional and flat rate. I personally however find it a bit difficult to believe that any attorney would not have a flat rate Lexis subscription.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: What Fees and Costs Can Your Lawyer Recover On Top of a Contingency Fee

    $19,500 case took about 8 months and it was settle at mediation.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Settlement is $19,500 but $5,000 loss wages which they will take taxes out of and the other $14,500 is tax free. I would like to know if he get 40% out of the whole $19,500 or the remaining $14,500. Thanks!

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