In many of the cases I handle, I offer contingent fee agreements, which means that you do not pay me for my time unless I am successful in obtaining a monetary recovery for you. This is the most common way clients hire me in personal injury, wrongful death, medical and legal malpractice cases. Employment matters are often handled on a contingent fee basis as well, but I also use mixed fee agreements, with a portion of hourly payments with a cap. Most state and federal employment discrimination laws order attorneys fees to be awarded to a plaintiff from the defendant if their case is successful, and we craft fee agreements that take such circumstances into account. There are other areas of law that do require hourly payment. Each case is unique, and I can craft a fee agreement that is best suited to your situation. Please be advised that under Michigan’s ethical rules, all costs of litigation (copies, postage, deposition fees, expert fees) are the ultimate responsibility of the client, even under contingent fee arrangements. All of our clients sign written detailed fee agreements.
Of course, most of my prospective clients speak with me or my paralegal by phone to get a sense of the type of matter you have. If the initially disclosed facts suggest there is a possible cause of action, I generally meet with any possible client face to face to explore the issues of liability and damages in more depth. It is rarely possible to tell anyone whether or not “they have case” without having detailed information and in depth discussion. There is no charge for an initial personal consultation in malpractice and personal injury cases. There are two key issues for me in deciding whether or not to accept a client. First, can liability be proven? Second, how large are the possible damages? Litigation against doctors, employers and insurance carriers is time consuming, and is simply not warranted unless very significant damages are involved.