Author Topic: What is a "Normal" Attorney's Fee Percentage of a Settlement?  (Read 21497 times)

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Say_No_2_Abuse

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Not long ago a friend of mine hired an attorney to sue a CA.

The attorney told my friend that the firm would try to get about 2.5K to 3K for her. around 50% of the anticipated settlement.

The CA offered to settle out of court for 4.5K. The attorney recommended to agree to it because the firm felt that it was going to be the top offer without having drag the case into court.

The CA offer was accepted by all parties. My friend received a settlement agreement document in which she was listed to receive 2K. About 44% of the settlement.

On Tuesday she received a final settlement distribution breakdown in which she is receiving 1.5K (33% of the settlement) instead of the 2K that she was told that would be awarded to her.

She asked me for my opinion, but since I do not have any experience and my knowledge in this type of things is limited I am asking for your comments. It seems to me that 66% of the settlement funds going to the attorney is a very high percentage.

What a "normal or common" percentage of a settlement that goes to the attorney's fees?

A- 25%

B- 33%

C- 40%
 
D- 50%

E- 66%

I assume that the percentage will vary depending on the attorney, as well as in the complexity of the case, how much time and effort (for example, to settle out of court might be considered more simple than taking the case into court) the attorney has to put into it, etc. Your response and comments are going to be greatly appreciated.

CleaningUp

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Re: What is a "Normal" Attorney's Fee Percentage of a Settlement?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2011 07:46:29 PM »

What did the written agreement with the attorney state as the attorney's cut?

The cut usually takes out-of-pocket expenses by the attorney off the top.

coltfan1972

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Re: What is a "Normal" Attorney's Fee Percentage of a Settlement?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2011 07:56:57 PM »
The amount of atty fees and cost should never be in question.  I would ask your friend to read the contract with the attorney carefully.  I would assume it lays everything all out.  As a rule as CU stated, costs come off the top and then there is usually a % taken.

I talked to an attorney one time and they wanted 50% plus fees.  It was a questionable case.  However, I would have to pay nothing up front and basically risked nothing.  The law firm had their money and time tied up.  I was basically just in a position to get a check and if no settlement or won lawsuit I was in the same position I was in prior to talking with the attorney.   After it is all said and done it might appear it was a bad deal or a rip off.  However sometimes that is the cost associated with taking little or no risk. 

Your friend might have entered into a similar agreement and 16% is the costs and 50% are the attorney fees.   

I know in working auto insurance claims that the breakdown for attorney rep clmts is 33.3% to attorney 33.3% to doctors and med providers and 33.3% to the so called injured party.  I don't know how many times I had a clmt call me to grip about their settlement.   For some reason they always thought that the medical bills were going to be paid from some magical fund that was not included in the settlement check to the attorney. 
Scroggin succeed in making this case an expensive nightmare for both CBOJ and its counsel.
Scroggin made a "mockery" out of CBOJ's deposition.

Scroggin made "perverted one-liners" during his deposition.
Scroggin called CBOJ'S counsel "a little witch"

Scroggin used the FDCPA as a "sword of intimidation."
Scroggin loves suing debt collectors.

Scroggin is proud of his behavior and "unapologetic."

Rebecca Worsham - Lead Counsel, Scroggin v. CBOJ- 3:12-cv-128, Eastern District of Ark.

silverzgirl

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Re: What is a "Normal" Attorney's Fee Percentage of a Settlement?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2011 08:40:33 PM »
My attorney has been 40 percent, all on contingency. The only time it was more was when we went to court and the firm fronted the fees. Then it was lawyer's cut plus court costs. The costs are usually "actual costs" and not a percentage.

It did not cost me a thing out of pocket, so I consider it a worthwhile investment.
“Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.”  - Sun-Tzu

I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. I once thought I was a lawyer when I was litigating in a courtroom, but turns out I just had Patron induced bed spins and dreamed it all. Take my posts with a grain of salt...and a shot of Patron. But not so much you think you are a lawyer.

kennypowers

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Re: What is a "Normal" Attorney's Fee Percentage of a Settlement?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2011 09:56:52 PM »
Lawyer I retain wants a third plus costs, but he's the one going all-in.
See that puppy dog sleepin' over in the corner.

Don't bother him.

coltfan1972

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Re: What is a "Normal" Attorney's Fee Percentage of a Settlement?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2011 11:18:18 PM »
Lawyer I retain wants a third plus costs, but he's the one going all-in.

Sounds like one of the better deals I have heard.

That is the usual cost for an atty taking a pretty much no risk auto personal injury case. 
Scroggin succeed in making this case an expensive nightmare for both CBOJ and its counsel.
Scroggin made a "mockery" out of CBOJ's deposition.

Scroggin made "perverted one-liners" during his deposition.
Scroggin called CBOJ'S counsel "a little witch"

Scroggin used the FDCPA as a "sword of intimidation."
Scroggin loves suing debt collectors.

Scroggin is proud of his behavior and "unapologetic."

Rebecca Worsham - Lead Counsel, Scroggin v. CBOJ- 3:12-cv-128, Eastern District of Ark.

kennypowers

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Re: What is a "Normal" Attorney's Fee Percentage of a Settlement?
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2011 03:39:28 AM »
Sounds like one of the better deals I have heard.

That is the usual cost for an atty taking a pretty much no risk auto personal injury case.

But with costs on a lower dollar settlement the total could reach 50-65 percent. Do I care? No. He totes the barge, I'm doing whatever. My comfort zone.
See that puppy dog sleepin' over in the corner.

Don't bother him.

silverzgirl

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Re: What is a "Normal" Attorney's Fee Percentage of a Settlement?
« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2011 03:55:54 AM »
There are usually no charges on a straight up settlement, just contingency. I found that the only time I had extra costs was the one who did not take him seriously so he filed suit. Since he paid for the court fees, I paid extra once the settlement was done.
“Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.”  - Sun-Tzu

I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. I once thought I was a lawyer when I was litigating in a courtroom, but turns out I just had Patron induced bed spins and dreamed it all. Take my posts with a grain of salt...and a shot of Patron. But not so much you think you are a lawyer.

Say_No_2_Abuse

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Re: What is a "Normal" Attorney's Fee Percentage of a Settlement?
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2011 12:57:33 PM »
Woooow, pretty interesting. Thank you very much for your participation.

It appears as if 50% + costs seems to be the most common (which could end up being around 60% to 66%).

My friend was probably over-anticipating to get back around 2.5K to 3K ... heck, as bad as the economy is I would not be upset if 1.5K came my way!

Once again, thank you for your assistance and participating.

kevinmanheim

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Re: What is a "Normal" Attorney's Fee Percentage of a Settlement?
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2011 01:13:54 PM »
As the amount potenially recoverd goes down, you can expect the attorney's cut to go up. For example, in a FDCPA case that might be worth $4,000 inclusive of all damages and fees, you can expect to receive $1000 or less. The attorney takes the balance.

In a $500,000 TCPA suit, the attorney shouldn't take more than 40%, inclusive of all their fees and costs.

As part of any settlement, the attorney should be working toward settling your debt, assuming the opponent owns the debt.

montag

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Re: What is a "Normal" Attorney's Fee Percentage of a Settlement?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2011 02:45:14 PM »
My niece had a sexual harassment suit and her lawyer took 40%.

KG one

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Re: What is a "Normal" Attorney's Fee Percentage of a Settlement?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2011 09:55:28 PM »
This is my first post!!!!

I am an attorney and I will tell you that on most consumer protection cases we take 50% + costs.
Here are some thoughts why we do it.
1. We are one of two firms in our area that handle this type of work. While it isn't brain surgery I would say that we have developed a system and skills that lead to bigger settlements.
2. As a general rule, a majority of the settlements are not large. This is a business. If we don't make money we go out of business. Trust me when I tell you that the overhead cannot get paid at 33% or 40%.
3. While this site may cause some to think that these cases are all around, finding them can be difficult and thus there just isn't a large volume. The reason we don't see more cases is because people lack knowledge about their rights.
3. Someday we hope to make more consumer protection lawyers in our area (I actually mean that). We have worked with the law school and some private attorneys in the area. There just isn't traction. Once there are more attorneys in this area the price will probably come down.

That is my two cents.

As a side note -- I got on this site because I want to learn more about TCPA. I am very impressed with the content!

kevinmanheim

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Re: What is a "Normal" Attorney's Fee Percentage of a Settlement?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2011 10:05:45 PM »
The reason we don't see more cases is because people lack knowledge about their rights.
They don't record calls, they throw away letters and envelopes, they don't come to a site like this until after they have been sued.

Figure out how to get to clients before they are 30 days late, instruct them on how to respond to calls and letters, and you'll make a fortune.

kennypowers

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Re: What is a "Normal" Attorney's Fee Percentage of a Settlement?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2011 10:50:15 PM »


Figure out how to get to clients before they are 30 days late, instruct them on how to respond to calls and letters, and you'll make a fortune.

KG attorney, hang on to each and every one of Kevin's quoted words.

Although the aspect of taking money (revenue) from the pockets of your former classmates and colleagues may be something to chew on I admire <Removed>.




Admin Note:Inappropriate language removed.  :tos:
« Last Edit: August 31, 2011 11:36:02 PM by Admin0248 »
See that puppy dog sleepin' over in the corner.

Don't bother him.

silverzgirl

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Re: What is a "Normal" Attorney's Fee Percentage of a Settlement?
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2011 12:52:51 AM »
My discovery is that lawyers will not sue lawyers. Once mine all went to collection law firms I was on my own.  That is okay, I have handled them all but there seems to be an unspoken courtesy amongst members of the bar.
“Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.”  - Sun-Tzu

I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. I once thought I was a lawyer when I was litigating in a courtroom, but turns out I just had Patron induced bed spins and dreamed it all. Take my posts with a grain of salt...and a shot of Patron. But not so much you think you are a lawyer.

 

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