Litigation Costs – Fee Agreement

Posted on Friday, June 11th, 2021 at 2:49 pm    

When you hire a lawyer to represent you, it is important to have a clear written fee agreement. This agreement should spell out the cost of the legal representation, other expenses and cost of work to be done. This article will discuss aspects that should be found in a lawyer’s fee agreement – litigation costs.

Generally, most of the disputes that exist between lawyers and clients are over money. Specifically, it is over how much money the client owes the lawyer. In order to avoid these problems states require that there be written fee agreements between lawyer and client. Whether it is a requirement or not in your state you should get a written record. Therefore, this should show what you have agreed to pay the lawyer to clarify the agreement.

Elements that must be present in a fee agreement include the following:

  • Fees
  • Litigation costs
  • Other issues

Litigation Costs

If your case is a lawsuit your agreement should explain how litigation costs will be handled. It must be noted that such costs include things like:

  • fees for filing papers in court
  • court reporters
  • expert witnesses
  • private investigators
  • stenographers
  • copying costs
  • travel expenses
  • messenger fees

Note that even though a lawyer may take your case on a contingency fee basis; you pay for these costs. And often in personal injury cases such costs may come up to several thousands of dollars. If you win your case, typically the judge orders the defendant to pay you back for these costs. As a result, the agreement needs to state which of these costs:

  • you will have to pay,
  • your attorney will pay, and
  • when you are expected to pay them

Lawyers in contingency fee cases will pay for these costs upfront. If you win your case the lawyer is reimbursed from your award. However, if you lose your case you will have to figure out a way to pay the lawyer back.





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