Litigation and trials are unpredictable. It’s not always easy to predict how much work will be involved. Some cases may resolve after the initial discovery phase and others go to trial and through an appeal. A typical litigation case takes from 100–600 hours or more of attorney time (a recent case I had was 660 hours). While we can generally roughly show you what to expect, there is no certainty how things will progress.
We accept some business and commercial litigation cases on a hybrid fee model. This means we accept a reduced hourly or flat fee rate in exchange for a percentage of the total recovery when we recover a settlement or a judgment. If there is no recovery, then the additional fees are not owed.
Every case is different, and the risk involved in every case varies. Therefore, the contingency percentage varies but usually it is 25%-40% of the settlement or judgment. Our other requirements for accepting a case on a hybrid fee model include the damages must be at least $150,000; the client is responsible for the costs of the litigation (usually court filing fees, court reporters, expert witnesses, and process servers); and the defendant has to be reasonably solvent.
Sometimes attorney’s fees are payable by the opposing party. A contract may have a provision that requires the losing party to pay your attorney’s fees. Certain state statutes include an award of attorney’s fees to the winning party. For instance, Colorado’s civil theft statute has such a provision. Some federal statutes also award attorney’s fees to the winning party. If there is an award of attorney’s fees in your favor, you may have to pay less or nothing for the work we do on your case.
When we review your case with you, we can discuss the options for representation.