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Contingency fee arrangements in Los Angeles disputed trust, probate and estate cases are an important tool of California Justice. They facilitate access to the courts for individuals who lack the financial ability to pre-pay attorney's fees. The contingent fee system acts as an equalizer and closely ties a lawyer's interests with those of his or her client.
The Greater Los Angeles area has over 17.5 million people. There are thousands of estate and trust disputes that arise in Southern California every year. Not all abused beneficiaries or disinherited heirs have sufficient financial ability to challenge the wrongdoing of bad trustees, estate interlopers or financial elder abusers. Likewise not all law firms that handle estate disputes will consider contingency fee arrangements. Law firms like Hackard Law that offer contingency fee arrangements in estate, trust and probate litigation see a large flow of prospective client inquiries about the utility of contingency fees in their particular case.
A California contingency fee in an estate, trust and probate litigation case is the fee charged for the attorney litigator's services only if the lawsuit is successful or is favorably settled out-of-court. Such arrangements usually will apply to any award, verdict, judgment, settlement or compromise.
Contingency fees are negotiable. California Business and Professions Code section 6147 clearly states that such fees are not set by law but are negotiable between the attorney and client. This must be disclosed in writing to the client. That said an attorney doesn't have to take a prospective client's case no more than a prospective client must accept the attorney's terms. Each is free to walk away from a negotiation that just doesn't meet their respective requirements. The contingent fee is usually calculated as a percentage of the client's net recovery.
Contingency fees are not right in every case. Some cases simply don't qualify for contingency fees because of statutory restrictions, ethical guidelines, or simple economics. For those cases that do qualify and where an appropriate attorney client agreement is reached clients that would otherwise be severely hampered in a quest for justice gain a viable way to challenge estate wrongdoers.
If you're looking to protect or recover assets from an estate hijacker and you are in the Greater Los Angeles area, you can call Hackard Law at 916-313-3030. We serve Los Angeles clients on a regular basis in probate and trust litigation, and we'll be happy to speak with you.