If the attorney was to get his percentage plus a portion of the attorney's fees awarded to me wouldn't that be double payment? 2 Answers as of March 12, 2014

I have a breach of contract case and my agreement has an attorney's fee clause. With that said, I am considering going on a contingency basis with a lawyer, but I want to know how it will affect collecting my attorney's fees assuming I am awarded them. As I understand it, the lawyer collects his "fees" via the percentage we agree upon from the winnings and the attorney fees award goes to the plaintiff. Is that correct? If the attorney was to get his percentage plus a portion of the attorney's fees awarded to me wouldn't that be "double payment" since I have already paid his fees with a percentage of my winnings? On the contrary if I was to not do a contingency would an attorney charge for collecting attorney fees, and if so how would they normally charge?

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Lawyer for Independent Media
Lawyer for Independent Media | Sue Basko
Some courts have said that this is double-dipping. In one case, the Judge even put in a bar complaint against a lawyer for trying to do this, because the end amount was the lawyer being overpaid. It may be different in different situations.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/12/2014
Sebby Law Office
Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
An attorney can not charge both an hourly fee and a contingency fee unless this was specifically spelled out in the Letter of Engagement signed by the client. Under a contingency agreement, the attorney subtracts his/her percentage (plus expenses if that is what the parties agreed to) and the client keeps the rest. FYI: if you already have a signed agreement with the attorney that spells out the form of reimbursement for the attorney, he/she has no obligation to agree to another form of payment just because you have changed your mind.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 3/12/2014
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