A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Notice

Message: Undefined variable: IN

Filename: libraries/Functions.php(688) : eval()'d code

Line Number: 4

A PHP Error was encountered

Severity: Notice

Message: Trying to get property of non-object

Filename: libraries/Functions.php(688) : eval()'d code

Line Number: 4

Lopped Fees Vex Plaintiffs Lawyers
Back

Lopped Fees Vex Plaintiffs Lawyers

Home
Attorney Fees

Lopped Fees Vex Plaintiffs Lawyers

Aug 10, 2007, 12:29 pm CDT

Hostility to contingent fees can mean financial disaster for law firms, if the people who are hostile are judges.

Yesterday, Austin, Texas, plaintiffs lawyer George Fleming told of his contingent fee battle after he won lawsuits over defective polybutylene pipe on behalf of thousands of clients. Fleming spoke at the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

“Fleming hired 49 law firms in 13 states, propounded 40,000 interogatories, paid for 35,500 home inspections, took 8,000 depositions, tried six cases, won them, then beat back 16 appeals, including three to the Texas Supreme Court,” the ABA Journal reports.

Then, after the case was over, a judge eliminated $80 million in contingent fees and lopped off $11 million charged costs. “An agreed-on 20 percent contingency shrank to 4 percent with the stroke of a pen,” the Journal story says. Fleming was broke and he couldn’t take on any more cases until he got the fees restored in appeals three years later.

In a different case, an appeals court recently reinstated a contingent fee in an arbitration case. ABAJournal.com has details.

Click here to view or post comments about this story