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My attorney wants to bring another attorney in for a referral fee. Is this normail? What fee is reasonable?

Los Angeles, CA |

I have a personal injury and had to have a $65,000 hospital stay. Arm was slammed in a door. Should I agree to this?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Under the California Rules of Professional Conduct, you must consent in writing to any referral fee paid. A true referral fee is where the attorney you consulted sends you to a different attorney to handle the case. Your attorney doesn't handle it at all, but just takes a small percentage of the fee you pay the other attorney. If this is what is happening, you need to make sure the referral fee comes from the percentage you already agreed you would pay.

Usually, if your attorney wants to bring someone in to help on the case, you would sign an agreement that the attorney associates on the case. The attorneys may want you to sign a new fee arrangement, but you should not pay more for having two attorneys. So make sure the fee is the same percentage as you agreed to before.

It is often a good idea for a second attorney or firm to associate in on a case. Your attorney may not have the financial wherewithall, or may not have the experience, to handle your case to conclusion. Or even if your attorney can front the costs and is very experienced, the medical issues may be such that another attorney would be uniquely qualified to handle it.

Discuss with your attorney why he wants to do this and make sure you understand exactly what the other attorney will be doing for the fee.

I am licensed only in California and this response is provided as general information only. It is not intended to be legal advice. Legal advice must be based on the exact facts of the particular situation, and by necessity this forum is not appropriate for discussion of specific, exact facts. Contact a lawyer for more specific advice. My answer to your question on AVVO does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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Posted

It can be normal. As long as it does not cost you anything extra, it may be a good idea. Generally, in these arrangements the attorneys divide the percentage fee between themselves. Make sure you find out from your attorney whether it will cost you anything extra.

You should consult an attorney in your State at once. Visit our webpage and tell us what you think. www.schnitzerlaw.net

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4 lawyers agree

Posted

It can be normal. As long as it does not cost you anything extra, it may be a good idea. Generally, in these arrangements the attorneys divide the percentage fee between themselves. Make sure you find out from your attorney whether it will cost you anything extra.

You should consult an attorney in your State at once. Visit our webpage and tell us what you think. www.schnitzerlaw.net

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1 found this helpful

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Posted

Ms Bennett has done an excellent job of drawing your attention to the law/ethical guidelines affecting referrals and attorney association in California. In many situations, an attorney may chose to associate another lawyer related to legal writing, medical complexity or trial of the case. It is important that you are comfortable with the lawyers for every aspect of your case and the fee that is being charged. The laws generally surrounding disclosure of referral fees provide an opportunity for you to understand and sign off on who represents you and how much you pay for that representation

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