Are Employment Lawyers Free if You Don’t Win?
The answers to these questions depend on several things, but it’s crucial to know that no upfront costs are involved in filing a claim, but one thing is for certain, they are not free. An employment lawyer in California might be invaluable if you’ve been the victim of discrimination or harassment at work. However, it’s understandable to be wary about the expense of hiring an attorney if you’re already suffering financially due to missed income, lost benefits, and job uncertainty. If your employer has treated you unfairly or terminated your job without just cause, you may feel helpless and confused about what to do next.
How Employment Lawyers in California Usually Charge?
Employment lawsuits in California may range widely in complexity, and an attorney’s hourly rate may reflect the case’s unique circumstances and the attorney’s expertise in handling cases like yours. You may often expect to pay one of these three rates when hiring an employment lawyer in California:
Flat fees: Employment attorneys often use flat fees if the case is straightforward and the outcome can be predicted in advance. The attorney will charge a certain sum, or “flat fee,” up advance. Your attorney may revise the fee if the case develops and more work is needed. Please inquire about the finer points and learn what the costs cover before they begin working on your case. Cases where a flat charge is regularly utilized, include the following: Wills, divorces, powers of attorney, and some minor criminal matters.
Hourly charges: Most labor attorneys have hourly charges. Once again, the hourly costs in employment matters may vary depending on the case’s nature and the attorney’s expertise or legal firm’s expertise.
Contingency fees: Lawyers who work on a contingency basis only get paid if they win or settle your lawsuit. Also, this implies that there will be no costs or fees for you to deal with as a customer. The attorney will receive a cut of the settlement if they win. In the state of California, this amount is 30% of any settlement or award. Employment law cases involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or wrongful termination sometimes qualify for contingency payments. Even though the lawyer doesn’t get paid until the case is won, the client may still have to pay up-front fees related to the case. Some of these are Court filing fees, discovery costs, expert witness fees, and other fees that aren’t directly related to the case but are still needed to finish it.
What Variables Are Considered When Determining Employment Lawyer Fees?
A seasoned attorney in a major city will demand a larger fee or percentage of contingency fee than a novice attorney in a small town. In addition, there are more considerations, such as:
- The nature of the representation,
- the services to be rendered,
- the price structure.
The kind of representation is a significant cost factor. The greater the complexity of the case, the more probable it will cost, and the proportion of the contingency fee will rise. This is also true if a straightforward and ordinary affair has been exacerbated by aggravating circumstances or factors. The greater the number of services the attorney provides, the greater the cost or percentage of the contingency fee. In certain instances, the attorney may package services to keep costs down.
The fee agreement is also a significant element of the attorney’s charge. The total price will vary based on whether the attorney:
- Bills on a contingency basis plus an hourly rate;
- Charges a flat rate;
- or is retained and offers as-needed assistance.
If a client has a strong case and is likely to have a favorable conclusion, they may be more able to negotiate fees. The following elements are considered while setting a fee:
- How much time and effort must the attorney invest in the case;
- How challenging the case will be;
- What abilities are necessary to conduct legal services effectively;
- The costs that are often paid for comparable legal services in the same place by lawyers with comparable abilities, reputation, and experience;
- Whether a person has consented to a contingency fee;
- The size of the claimed damages and the outcomes attained;
- Whether the rate is set or dependent.
Finalizing Your Agreement
As with any contract, a fee agreement is subject to negotiation. You may address any agreement provision that bothers you or that you want to modify. While the attorney may not agree to the modification, you will be content knowing that you attempted to negotiate the best deal possible and that you accepted the contract willingly and fully aware of its provisions. To minimize misunderstanding or disagreement over the terms of your agreement, ensure it is written and signed by you and the attorney. This will considerably lessen the likelihood of a future misunderstanding when the case is closing and costs are required.
Helping You Achieve a Positive Outcome for Your Case
If you read everything and you think you qualify and are still asking “Do I have a wrongful termination case?”, please do not hesitate to call an attorney immediately.
A California employment attorney can help you achieve your goals if you have been the victim of illegal actions by your employer. You may want to put the entire situation behind you and move on as quickly as possible. However, in today’s job market that can be difficult. Sometimes it’s best to file a wrongful termination lawsuit to get what you deserve.
Call attorney Sam Setyan at (213)-618-3655 to schedule a free initial consultation.