Discharging Personal Injury Attorney
Discharging personal injury attorney ?
That probably is not a happy day for your attorney but sometimes it does come to pass that it is necessary to simply part company. In the Fairfax, Virginia area if an attorney has been discharged prior to the case being settled then the attorney typically is paid on what is called a quantum meruit basis. The term quantum meruit are two Latin words that literally mean “how much is it worth”, i.e. how much is the attorney’s service worth. Those services, under the terms of a typical personal injury retainer agreement, are evaluated based upon a percentage of the recovery.
If in fact there has been no settlement and therefore no recovery, then a contingent fee basis is probably not appropriate to pay the attorney at this point. Quantum meruit compensation means that the attorney then is entitled to be paid based upon the usual hourly rate and and the number of hours devoted to the matter. If in fact the attorney’s usual hourly rate is $300 per hour and 20 hours have been devoted to the matter, then the total attorney’s fees would be fixed at approximately $6,000. That does not mean that the attorney necessarily gets that if, in fact, the case itself is not even worth $6,000. There has to be some rule of reason that is applied as to how much of the total value of the case the attorney may be entitled to in the event of being discharged.
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