- Firearms Trust, Gun Trusts and NFA Weapons Trusts
- Avoiding Extortionate "Preferential Transfer" Claims following Commercial Bankruptcies
- Problems Passing an "Instant Check"
- Firearms Law and Inheritance
- Financing your Litigation
- Fairness in Marcellus Shale Dealings
Financing your Litigation
Justice is expensive. The cost of litigation has long since risen to the point where only large corporations, insurance companies and the wealthiest individuals can afford to press a just cause – and they know it. As a result, people of average means often have to settle for far less than that to which they are entitled … or for nothing at all … simply because they cannot afford to fight.
A partial solution is to proceed on a “contingent fee” basis, which means the attorney takes a percentage of the recovery as his or her fee. This allows one with a strong claim to proceed, at no “up front” cost to the client.
Note, however, that lawyers set contingent fees such that they expect you will wind up paying two or three times their normal hourly rate. This is justified on the theory the lawyer must recover an amount double or triple the hourly value of the time in order to make up for those cases which are unsuccessful. In other words, your contingent fee arrangement is designed so that you pay for someone else's hypothetical lost cause.
In practice, lawyers will not take a contingent fee case unless they are fairly sure they will win. It is the attorney, and not you, who is in the best position to assess the risk of loss. Still, people of limited means may feel they have no choice but to give a large percentage of their recovery away, because they simply do not have the money to pay hourly fees and out-of-pocket as they accrue.
Recently, another option has emerged.
Banks and finance companies recognize that attorneys will rarely take a personal injury case on a contingent fee if there is any real risk of loss. Those lenders have developed programs under which they will make loans to finance litigation, and secure the loan with the proceeds of the litigation. Because these loans are secured by the proceeds of the litigation rather than one's personal credit, these specialty loans are available to people whose income or credit rating would not otherwise justify a loan.
Greystone Legal Associates has relationships with several such lenders. We will assist you in applying for such financial assistance, should the need arise.