The rule in my office is that the client never walks away with less in his/her pocket than I do. I've used this rule my entire 35 year career.
The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am only licensed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and I am not providing you with specific legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Being general in nature, the information provided may not apply to any specific factual and/or legal set of circumstances and/or the jurisdiction where you reside. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. The information provided is of a general nature is not intended to substitute for the advice of an attorney, especially an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. Your question, although you may believe is simple, it is not simple. You require legal advice, please consult with a competent attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.
Have never seen the article and Google wasn't my friend in trying to locate a copy. Generally speaking though, contrary to some suggestions I have heard over the year, a client has the power in a contingency representation negotiation. He or she can always decide to not sign with an attorney if if is felt the counsel has not completely addressed any and all concerns as to how any settlement will be proportioned.
Please do your own homework assignment. In any given factual scenario it may appear as if the client or the lawyer was cheated. However, the measure of the reasonableness of a contingency fee contract is at the time it was created – not after the fact and many, many hours of work.
Not every personal injury case will put money in a client’s pocket. There are just too many variables. In fact, the client could lose a lot more than what is perceived to be the value of the case if a judgment is entered for defendant. The client could end up owing the defendant substantial costs. That is the nature of litigation.
In CA, at least, the client who enters into a contingency fee agreement with his attorney must be appraised of the method of fee calculation and be given an example of how it is computed. The client must also be advised that, except in medical malpractice cases with fee caps, the fee is not set by law but negotiable between attorney and client.
The lower the percentage contingency fee, the greater the likelihood it is computed on gross settlement amount. Most firms, and I believe most attorneys, have an informal unwritten rule that, despite the actual numbers and agreement, the firm will not take more in fees than the client receives in settlement, absent extraordinary circumstances.
SINCE 1974. My answers are for general information only. They are not legal advice. Answers assume California law. I am licensed in California, only. Answers must not be relied upon.<br> <br> Legal advice and counsel must be based on the interplay between specific exact facts and the law. This forum does not allow for the discussion of that interplay. My answer to any specific question would likely be different if that interplay were explored during an attorney-client relationship. <br> <br> I provide legal advice and counsel during the course of an attorney-client relationship only. The exchange of information through this forum does not establish such a relationship. That relationship is established only by personal and direct consultation with me followed by the execution of a written attorney-client agreement signed by each of us.<br> <br> The communications on this website are not privileged or confidential. I assume no duty to anyone by my participation on Avvo because I have answered or commented on a question. Specifically, I assume no duty to respond to any question, comment, telephone call, or email because of my participation.<br> <br> All legal proceedings involve deadlines and time limiting statutes. So that legal rights are not lost for failure to timely take appropriate action and because I do not provide legal advice or counsel in answer to any question, if you are an interested party you should promptly and personally consult an attorney licensed in the appropriate jurisdiction for advice and counsel. See, also, Avvo's terms and conditions of use, specifically item 9, incorporated by this reference.<br>