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What is the initial retainer amount when a grocery store has to get an attorney to represent them?

North Hollywood, CA |
Attorney answers 7


The store's liability insurer will likely retain and pay for defense counsel for the store.

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It all depends. If the store has liability insurance, an attorney will be provided for the store by the liability insurance company. If there is no coverage, the store may have a regular corporate attorney in place that handles these matters for the grocery store. As a broad range, if payment is made to handle this matter, the retainer would range from $2,500 - $10,000 but this would only be a guess on my part. Good luck with the case.


Listen to the advise received. Assuming no liability insurance, contact a few lawyers who know how to defend a this type of lawsuit. Ask those you trust and respect for recommendations. It is unlikely that a products claim would attach against you.

Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and educational purposes only. No attorney client relationship has been formed or should be inferred. Please speak with a local and qualified attorney. I truly wish you and those close to you all the best. Jeff


The store will carry liability insurance which will pay the cost of legal representation.


Unknown. Most stores will have an insurance policy that will hire attorneys. However, many policies will have self insured retention amount (like a deductible) that may require them to pay monies toward attorneys fee as well as any settlement or judgment.

In the end its unknown until you file a lawsuit and demand a copy of the policy through discovery.


These answers are correct. The first question is does the store carry liability insurance?
The second inquiry is, if there is insurance, what is the deductible that the store will have to pay?
If the store does not carry insurance, which should be unlikely since most leases require the tenant to have some form of general liability insurance, the store will need to hire its own lawyer.

Retainers can vary and are negotiable, as is the hourly rate for attorney services.

It is important that you consult with an experienced, aggressive defense attorney, as these types of cases are very defensible. Expert medical opinion(s) and evaluation will be the key, so the store should be prepared for expert witness costs as well.

Finally, even if there is insurance, the insurance company may defend the claim with a reservation of rights, meaning that the insurance company reserves the right to later deny coverage and go after reimbursement of all monies paid to defend the claim. Depending on the terminology of the reservation of rights (and all insurance companies will assert some form of reservation of rights), you may be entitled to have the insurance company pay for you to have an attorney monitoring the insurance company’s defense of the case on your behalf. This is known as cumis counsel.

With all of these considerations, you should consult with an experienced attorney.
If you would like to discuss your case, feel free to contact my office.

IVAN SCHWARTZ, Attorney at Law (619) 687-5052
501 West Broadway, Suite 1780 San Diego, CA 92101

Ivan Schwartz has been practicing law in Southern California since 1991. The information contained in this response is for general information only, does not constitute legal advice and should in no way be construed to create an attorney/client relationship. For more information, please contact Attorney Schwartz at (619) 687-5052.


I'm assuming you are asking this question because either you want to know how much the grocery store would have to pay if you want to sue the store or you are the store owner without insurance that will defend you. There are many attorneys that are struggling in this economic slowdown. This is good news if you have to retain a "defense" attorney because a lot of attorneys are willing to negotiate a reasonable fee. Although I do not handle personal injury defense cases, you can expect a defense attorney to charge in the ballpark of $2,000 (retainer) with an hourly rate around $200.00. You will find attorneys that want more money, but you can do your homework and find a reasonably priced attorney.

This communication does not create an attorney-client relationship. This means that I am not your lawyer and I will not appear in court simply by posting on this site. If you would like me to represent you, you must call my office, sign a written fee agreement and pay a legal fee, assuming I do not have a conflict of interest and you are in Southern California. If I respond to your question and you have follow up questions by posting on this site, I may or may not reply. This information should not be construed as legal advice. I am offering my opinion. Each person's case is unique, and that's why you should contact a lawyer over the phone for a consultation for your situation. That's why you should not rely on any response that an attorney posts on this site. I am licensed in California. I am not licensed in another state or country. I do not practice law outside of California.

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