Contracts with Lawyers (3 of 3)

The first post in this series dealt with retainer contracts.  The second dealt with flat fee contracts.  This is the third and final post in the series, and deals with contingency fee contracts.  Remember that these just are broad overviews, and a particular contract can be a blend of two or all three.  Read any contract very carefully and make sure you understand it before signing.

Contingency fee contracts are normally used in situations where there is a chance of a large payout, but it will either take a lot of investment and/or the client cannot front the money to pay the lawyer without a successful outcome.  Good examples are personal injury cases.

Contingency fee contracts can require clients to pay expenses associated with the case, but typically do not require payment for attorney/staff time.  Instead, the client will pay a portion of any recovery to the attorney as the fee.  Expect at least 33% of any recovery to be taken by the attorney, up to 50%.  It just depends on the individual case.  Some even break out the percentage further, with (for example) 30% of any recovery before a demand letter is sent, 35% of any recovery after suit is filed, and 40% of any recovery of a judgment, should the case go to trial.

As always, read the contract closely.  Each contract can vary so pay close attention to the terms.  If you have a question, ask!  Your lawyer would rather have you understand the contract and the process up front so that both of you know what to expect.

Retainer Contracts: Contracts with Lawyers (1 of 3)

Flat Fee Contracts: Contracts with Lawyers (2 of 3)

 

About CJ.Harding
Chris believes one of the most important aspects of family law is seeing the 'big picture.' This means understanding the law, the facts of your case and the range of possible outcomes. Only after knowing each of those can an attorney convey the risks and potential results and guide you to make the right decision for your case, your life and your family. He understands every person and every case is unique. Chris will advocate for the very best possible result in your case. He has worked on a variety of family law cases, including tracing of assets, property division of estates worth more than one million dollars, international and interstate child custody issues, enforcement actions as well as pre-marital and post-marital agreements. Chris continues to be a student of the Law and helps to educate others by maintaining the "Hot Topics" section of the Firm web site, which features current issues in Texas family law. Topics have included how a bankruptcy can affect child support and the differences between alimony and court ordered spousal maintenance. Chris joined the firm after graduating cum laude from Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law. During his time at SMU, Chris competed in numerous mock and moot competitions and placed nationally. Chris is a native Texan, growing up in the Houston area and completing his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

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