General Litigation FAQs.
1. Do you
accept civil cases on a contingency fee basis?
Yes. However, we are unable to offer contingency
fee agreements to all potential clients.
Depending upon the client's wishes, the nature of the claim and the
specific facts, we may offer to represent a potential client on a straight
hourly basis, a contingency basis or a blended (mixed hourly/contingency)
basis. Before we can determine whether
we are willing to accept a contingency fee for a specific matter, we must speak
2. A Contingency Fee means I owe nothing if I lose, right?
Maybe. While a contingency fee means you will not owe your lawyer
a fee if you lose the case, you may still be responsible for costs.
Fees and costs are two different things. Fees are intended to
compensate the lawyer for their time and expertise. Costs are
out-of-pocket expenses such as fees paid to the Court, copying costs,
long distance charges and expert fees.
3. So if you take
my case on a contingency fee basis and I lose, I still have to pay costs?
Yes. The client should be prepared to pay the out
of pocket costs regardless of the outcome of the case. In most cases, the client will be responsible for paying the
costs incurred regardless of the outcome of the case, although the
lawyer may advance some of the costs during the course of the
4. Once my case
is filed, how long will it take to get it settled or tried.
can occur at any time. A few cases
settle quickly. These tend to be cases
where liability is clear and damages are also relatively clear. Even in those situations, though, if one of
the parties is not willing to be realistic or if there are other factors
preventing settlement, the case can drag on for a while. Usually, if there are no unexpected delays,
it will take between 12 and 18 months to get a case from filing to settlement
5. If I win my
case does the other side have to pay my attorneys fees?
most cases, no. In California the prevailing party's right to recover
attorneys fees is limited to those situations in which there is a
pre-existing agreement between the parties, or to certain limited
situations in which either a state or federal statute provides for the
recovery of attorneys fees. In the vast majority of cases, each party
is responsible for his or her own attorneys fees.
6. If I win my case, does the other side have to pay my costs?
Yes, but not all of the costs. California does provide for the
recovery of costs by the prevailing party in a lawsuit as a matter of
right. This does not mean that you will be reimbursed for all of
your costs, though. Certain items, such as jury fees, filing fees,
deposition costs and several other categories are specifically listed in
the relevant statute. Other items, such as expert fees, may be
recoverable at the Court's discretion if certain conditions are met.
Ultimately it is the Court that will determine which costs the
prevailing party will be entitled to recover. The only thing you can
count on at the outset of the case is that whoever wins will be entitled
to recover at least some of their costs from the other party.