State Bar of California Sample Contingency Fee Agreement

If you`re an individual seeking legal representation in California, you may come across the term „contingency fee agreement.” But what exactly is a contingency fee agreement, and what should you expect from such an agreement?

In simplest terms, a contingency fee agreement is a contract between you and your attorney in which the attorney agrees to handle your case in exchange for a percentage of the eventual settlement or judgment. This means that your attorney will not charge you any upfront fees to take on your case, and if you do not win your case or recover any damages, your attorney will not receive a fee.

In California, the State Bar Association provides a sample contingency fee agreement form for attorneys to use when entering into such an agreement with their clients. The State Bar`s form includes important provisions that protect clients` rights and ensure clear communication between the attorney and client.

One key provision in the sample contingency fee agreement is the requirement that the client must agree to the percentage of the settlement or judgment that will be paid to the attorney as a fee. This percentage typically ranges from 25% to 40% of the total award, depending on the complexity of the case and the likelihood of success.

The agreement also requires the attorney to provide a written explanation of any expenses that will be deducted from the client`s settlement or judgment, such as court filing fees or expert witness fees. The client has the right to review and approve these expenses before they are deducted from the award.

Another important provision in the sample contingency fee agreement is the requirement that the attorney must keep the client informed of all developments in the case and provide regular updates on the progress of the litigation. The client has the right to request information at any time and to be informed of any settlement offers or other potential resolutions.

Overall, a contingency fee agreement can be a valuable option for clients who cannot afford to pay upfront legal fees. However, it`s important to carefully review any such agreement and make sure you understand the terms and conditions before signing. The State Bar`s sample contingency fee agreement is a helpful resource for clients and attorneys alike to ensure a fair and transparent agreement.