Orange County California Trust Litigation Legal Malpractice Attorneys
Andres, Andres & Moore, LLP
General Litigation FAQs.


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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 to you.

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 litigation. 

4.         Once my case is filed, how long will it take to get it settled or tried.             

           Settlement 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 or judgment.

5.         If I win my case does the other side have to pay my attorneys fees?              

           In 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.