After the engagement, the cost is not important (at least for you)


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in our company We handle a lot Complex litigation, Usually at Risk sharing basis. This means that if we have achieved good results for our customers, we are willing to reduce the hourly fee in exchange for contingency fees, which is agreed in the letter of appointment. Customers like this because they think we are with them: if they win, we will do it. If they fail to achieve the goals they are pursuing, we will be paid less.

Over the years, many business clients have commented to me that when dealing with lawyers who do not charge such fees (usually when dealing with lawyers who charge by the hour), such clients believe that these lawyers do not care about the fees that the client must pay or the result. Indeed, many business clients tell me that they think these lawyers are just trying to increase the cost as much as possible.

Kindness knows that I have seen miscarriages and that it has been detrimental to a resource-rich company more than once. They seem to just pile the corpses on the case, and even file a lawsuit against every little thing when I don’t see any tactics or other benefits. . Excess billing will definitely occur (as opposed to incorrect billing). Whether it appears as frequently as my customers complained is beyond the scope of this article. But I admit that it did happen.

As lawyers, we must keep in mind all the costs incurred by clients in litigation, and attorney fees are only one of the costs. Part of becoming a good lawyer is to determine: Is the battle really worth the price? I find myself often advising potential plaintiffs or claimants to consider alternatives to litigation or arbitration. I also found myself suggesting that the defendants consider paying some fees even when they think they have done nothing wrong, just to file a lawsuit. Cost-not only money, but also time-is very important. As consultants, we must keep in mind the advice we provide to our clients.

But what we cannot do (or at least should not do) is to let our own expenses and interests determine our proposals or ways of fighting. I am not saying to use us-we are not. But this is different from allowing the interest on our expenses to determine how we strive or what tactical suggestions we make to customers. As mentioned above, our risk-sharing clients actually think we did it and like us for it. Risk sharing helps build customer relationships. We must also keep in mind our higher ethical and professional obligations to provide clients with appropriate consultants, and as they say, we should be enthusiastic to defend our clients regardless of the cost.

Lawyers usually bring lawsuits in smaller cases differently from larger cases. In fact, we often should. But this is because between these cases, customer costs and results may be different. We cannot let the interest on charges determine how we provide advice to our customers or how we can earn benefits for our customers.


John BalestrilJohn Balestriere He is an entrepreneurial trial lawyer and founded his own company after serving as a prosecutor and litigant in a small company.He is a partner in a trial and investigation law firm Farriello He and his colleagues represent domestic and foreign clients in litigation, arbitration, appeals and investigations in New York.You can contact him by email john.g.balestriere@balestrierefariello.com.


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