Attorney taking a case on contingency


#1

It would seem that an ED case isn’t a win or loss type of case. You split the assets and split the debt. I guess if there is a considerable asset that would be obtained, I’m assuming the legal fees would be used on that (ie: contigent of getting this or that). However, you would still have to come up with a consulting fee in order to ask the lawyer if he/she would work that way. They would have to evaluate your assets and debts and current situation.


#2
quote:
[i]Originally posted by don5327[/i] [br]I would like to know the likelihood of an attorney taking an ED case on contingency. I realize there are all types of variables to this question. But, what kind of mental and financial calculations would an attorney have to make to decide to take a client with very little means on the contingency that he/she would win the case? Again I know the first question would be, what is at stake. Generally speaking, how much money would have to be at stake for an attorney to take on a case and see it all the way through? Lets say for the sake of argument it is a very messy and complex case.

Also how often does this happen?

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.


It should be almost never, as contingent fees in domestic law cases is (as far as I can tell) prohibited except when the contingent fee is charged for handling of post-judgement matters.


#3

Sure, an attorney can take an equitable distribution case on a contingency fee. It doesn’t happen very often for a variety of reasons.

Many clients are hesitant to agree to a contingent fee because there is a fairly high degree of certainty that the fee will come due because the outcome of equitable distribution cases are reasonably predictable (unlike personal injury cases). Another issue is that the fee is sometimes difficult to pay due to the illiquid nature of most marital estates (since the largest assets are usually the home and the martial residence) which makes it difficult to pay the fee at the conclusion of the case.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#4

What a freakin’ cop out! Sure, an attorney can take a contingency fee! (your corrected response!) I posted prior to this response and was told it had been corrected! You have lost all credibity with me and that is nothing unusual where attorneys are concerned. I understand that you take a good bit of time responding to questions here, but damn, you really need to answer instead of the lackadasial, “sure, an attorney can!” There is no comparison to a personal injury case! This is a person’s life and future! And you seem to make a profit on someone else’s misfortune! This is very, very sad!! Women and children suffer and no one cares!


#5

Good father’s suffer as well ya know!


#6

Momsdaughter: It’s not the attorney’s fault. We are fortunate and lucky to be getting responses like we do. This forum is a wonderful tool we have for FREE. They answer questions that you would have to pay a lawyer to answer. Your question could have been answered by calling local lawyers offices and asking what their policy was on contingency fees.

Would you like to have a lawyer take you on contingency, then when the assets are divided, and the lawyer’s bill comes due, you actually don’t have ‘liquid’ money there to pay the lawyer?? Then where would you be? You’d have to sell off assets to pay the debt.
To me it’s an uncertain scenario.


#7

It seems a little unfair to attack the attorney’s who answer questions on here. If you have lost faith in the judicial system as a whole that is no reason to take it out on an individual who is doing a service to those of us who appreciate it. If you have issue with the way attorneys practice or their office policy on payments, maybe you should refrain from hiring one in the future and do everything possible to come to an agreement outside of court.

Neither Helena nor any other attorney can tell you what ALL attorneys will do. There is nothing illegal about an attorney taking a case like this and to me Helena makes that reason clear. Attorneys do not normally argue cases out of sheer joy. That is their JOB. That is what we PAY them to do and as with most contracted professionals, require payment up front so that they are assured payment for their time and efforts.


#8

Thank you all for your responses. Thank you Helena. The general consensus appears to be that it could happen, but is fairly rare. I know every case is different and every attorney is different.

Helena you make the statement:

“Another issue is that the fee is sometimes difficult to pay due to the illiquid nature of most marital estates (since the largest assets are usually the home and the martial residence) which makes it difficult to pay the fee at the conclusion of the case.”

Can you explain this?


#9

Many people do not have significant assets in cash. For most people their major assets are their home, and their retirement accounts, these assets have value but are not ones that you could right a check against. Liquid assets are those that can be accessed immediately.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

Charlotte Office
301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Phone: (704)307.4600
Main Fax: (704) 9343.0044

Durham & Chapel Hill Office
1829 East Franklin Street
Building 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
(919) 321.0780

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service only, a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action. The information posted on this forum is available for public viewing and is not intended to create an attorney client relationship with any individual. These answers are provided for informational purposes only, a person should consult with their own individual legal counsel before taking any action that could affect their legal rights or obligations.


#10

I would like to know the likelihood of an attorney taking an ED case on contingency. I realize there are all types of variables to this question. But, what kind of mental and financial calculations would an attorney have to make to decide to take a client with very little means on the contingency that he/she would win the case? Again I know the first question would be, what is at stake. Generally speaking, how much money would have to be at stake for an attorney to take on a case and see it all the way through? Lets say for the sake of argument it is a very messy and complex case.

Also how often does this happen?

Your thoughts are greatly appreciated.