TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Southwestern Law School

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Swett on Establishing Reasonable Contingency Fees

Jeffrey Swett (Student/Tennessee) has posted his note to SSRN.  Entitled Determining a Reasonable Percentage in Establishing a Contingency Fee:  A New Tool to Remedy an Old Problem, the abstract provides:

The indiscriminate use of contingency fee contracts providing for a one-third fee paid contingent upon either damages awarded to and received by the plaintiff or settlement amounts paid to the plaintiff is an important issue. This article first describes what is wrong with the one-third model, the response of the legal system to unreasonable contingency fees, and the mixed beliefs on obtaining a reasonable contingency fee percentage. The article then uses mathematics and law to construct a computerized, mathematical model that can be used to calculate a contingency fee tailored to each client’s case. The author uses statistical analysis to estimate the pertinent factors to determine a contingency fee: projected hours, hourly wage, projected costs fronted, risk multiplier, and projected recovery. Before concluding, the article assesses the benefits and drawbacks of this new mathematical model.


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