Contingency Fee Agreement - If a fixed fee is partially refundable, it is functionally to be classified as a contingent fee.
Writing Requirement - Contingency fees are required to be in writing. Writing should state the method by which the lawyer's fee is to be determined.
Treatment of Costs - Agreement must set forth litigation and other expenses to be deducted from the recovery. In addition, whether such expenses are to be deducted before or after the contingent fee is calculated must be disclosed.
- Prohibited Matters -
- - Domestic Relations - This includes an attempt to secure a dissolution or custody of a child, or the amount of property awarded, alimony, or child support (in a divorce). However, a contingent fee is proper for collection for alimony or support in arrears.
- - Criminal Matter - Contingency fee agreement is improper for criminal cases.
Client Termination - Substantial completion is usually achieved if the lawyer obtains a firm settlement offer in the an amount that the client had approved. If substantial completion has been delivered, a recovery for the reasonable value of the services is allowed.
End of Case - Upon conclusion of a contingency matter, the lawyer must provide the client with a written statement of account. This should itemize the dollar recovery outcome, all chargeable costs, and the calculation of amounts going to both the lawyer and the client.