While we cannot predict the exact cost of a contested litigation, we can work closely with you and continuously advise you of the work being performed and the cost of the work so that you are aware of how your legal fees are being used. Our office sends clients monthly itemized billing statements so you always know what work your attorney is performing on your behalf.
There are many types of proceedings that are uncontested, where our office is happy to charge a flat rate subject to litigation or unduly complex matter which will require additional costs.
Franken & Lacher, P.A. will always advise you on whether or not you have a strong case or a good defense, however we cannot guarantee if you will win your case, nor should any attorney you hire. We promise to constantly keep you informed of the status of your case as well as discuss possible options so you can make an informed decision. We also advise on the possibility and likelihood of settlement, as you have more control in a settlement and less control in front of a judge or jury. We give you options that can benefit you.
Even if you receive a judgment against a Defendant or a Plaintiff, there is no absolute guarantee you will receive any money. The Courts do not ensure that a judgment holder receives payment on a judgment, so our office works diligently in all post judgment matters, including levys, executions and garnishments to receive the money you are entitled to receive.
Florida follows the “American Rule”, which provides that everyone has to pay their own attorneys fees even if you win at trial. There is an exception however. As a party litigant, you may only be entitled to recover attorneys fees as a part of your judgment pursuant to a contract upon which you are suing, a Florida Rule or a Florida Statute which allows for recovery of attorney’s fees or if you create a joint fund. You likely will receive your costs back that you paid out of pocket, such as filing fees and fees relating to depositions and mediations which are paid to third parties. Cases may become a fee recovery where offers are made under a statute or a court finds after notice that the actions of one party are made in bad faith.
The same American rule applies as above to whether you will owe the other party attorneys fees. There is always the situation where the parties can settle out of court and the attorney’s fees will be resolved as a part of the settlement. Further, you or your attorney may receive or submit an offer for judgment under Florida Statute 768.79. The rule states that if the Defendant in a litigation files a “proposal for settlement” under Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.442, the Plaintiff must obtain a verdict of higher than seventy five percent of the amount proposed by the Defendant. If there is a defense verdict or the verdict is less than seventy five percent of the verdict, then the Plaintiff is responsible for the Defendant’s reasonable attorney’s fees and costs. The Plaintiff has the option of taking advantage of this rule as well. If the Plaintiff files a proposal for settlement under the above rules, and a jury verdict exceeds the offer by twenty five percent or more, then the Defendant is responsible for all of the Plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees and costs. There are certain requirements and timing you must comply with before sending an offer of judgment. We will review with you any offer or proposal you should provide or any proposal or offer made to you and consider your best option to respond with knowledge of the risks involved and potential exposure to pay the other party’s attorney fees if you are not successful.
There are many circumstances where our office can predict the reasonable amount of time your legal matter will take to conclude, whether it is an uncontested divorce, Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, summary administration, will or Revocable Trust. We cannot predict the amount of time a contested litigation will take to conclude as there are circumstances out of our control, such as opposing parties’ actions and the docket of the assigned judge you need to resolve or to delay in your interest. We will always keep you informed of the status of your case by both monthly billing and emailing to you any important documents or emails or letters from the other side.
When an attorney takes a case on contingency, the attorney is handling your legal matter without being paid attorneys' fees (with the exception of out of pocket costs) until the successful conclusion of your case based on a fixed percentage. You must sign a statement of client rights and an authority to represent. A statement of client rights will outline your rights and answer questions you may have before signing the authority to represent. The authority to represent sets forth the terms of our representation of your case and the legal fees charged as a percentage of your recovery, the obligation for costs and that you pay our law firm legal fees only upon a recovery.
As contingency cases are very risky for the law firm, we only accept contingency cases upon a review of your facts, the liability, the amount of damages and the collectability of your claim