Hello, I'm Mike Hackard. I'm the chair of Hackard Law, a law firm focusing on estate, trust and elder financial abuse litigation in California's major urban areas. I'm the author of The Wolf at The Door: Undue Influence and Elder Financial Abuse. The book will come out in early autumn. This is episode 18, where I'll discuss the basic economics of contingency fees in elder financial abuse and trust lawsuits.
In every case there's a risk factor - the same goes for stories of financial exploitation of the elderly, undue influence, and the wrongful taking of estate and trust assets. That means that the economics of a contingency fee agreement will help determine any decision to move forward. Both the attorney and the client will judge the viability of any proposal with a view to making it beneficial for both sides.
A contingency fee arrangement takes into account the amount of the fee proportionate to the services performed. The prospective recovery should match the factor of risk involved. Setting out to wage a litigation battle against a perpetrator of elder financial abuse is a bit like planning a military campaign. You need lots of accurate information, logistical coordination, and funding - there's plenty of energy and expenditures that go into a team effort.
The bottom line is that a contingency fee agreement should be a win/win. A potential client whose trust beneficiary rights have been violated will often start out with nothing. If the client's attorney protects their interests and recovers trust assets for the client, then both the client and the attorney can bring an elder financial abuser to justice and benefit from the recovery.
If you would like a free digital copy of the book when it comes out, email us at [email protected] I'm happy to share this book on this very important topic.