In many cases, a qualified legal malpractice attorney will offer to take your case on a contingency basis, meaning that at the outset of the case, you will sign a contingency fee contract which means that you will not have to pay any money up front. You will only pay when the professional negligence attorney obtains a recovery for you. At that time, you will reimburse your lawyer for costs and pay legal fees for representation.
Under ethics rules, a contingency fee agreement must be in writing which provides both you and your lawyer a record of what was agreed to in the contract.
There are some legal malpractice matters that cannot be handled on a contingency fee basis, and some matters are better handled through an hourly rate fee agreement.
Prosecuting legal malpractice cases is very time-consuming -- not only does the legal malpractice lawyer have to prove the wrongdoing of the first lawyer, but the original case as well. The first lawyer would have been paid approximately one-third of the recovery of the initial case if he would have handled things appropriately. Now, the legal malpractice lawyer has to do twice the work as that of the first lawyer who committed legal malpractice.
Because of this doubling of effort factor, most legal malpractice cases are handled on a 40% contingency fee basis. This arrangement is beneficial to both the client and the legal malpractice lawyer.
Delaying discussing your legal malpractice matter with a competent legal malpractice lawyer may make your case more difficult to prove, which could result in a higher legal fee or even preclude representation. Do not delay contacting a legal malpractice lawyer regarding your legal problems.