In consideration of the legal services to be rendered by RYAN SARGENT & SARGENT LAW, APC, (RS), for the prosecution of all claims existing on my part against parties legally responsible for damages I have sustained, I hereby employ RS on the following terms:
Contingency Fee: Thirty-three and one third percent (33.3%) of all gross amounts recovered from any source if obtained before the filing of a civil complaint or the initiation or commencement of binding arbitration, and forty percent (40%) of any such amounts recovered thereafter. I understand that the Attorney's fee is contingent upon obtaining a settlement or judgment and that it is negotiable and not set by law. I also understand that RS does not represent me for any worker’s compensation claim that I may have.
A Lien shall be given for the Attorney's fees and advances upon any settlement or judgment made or secured herein, and RS is authorized to deduct these fees and costs therefrom and to pay the balance to Client.
All Costs to prosecute this action such as fees for court filings, depositions, medical reports, experts, litigation costs, contract attorneys, investigation, interpreters, travel (actual expenses plus $.50 mile by car), nurse practitioners, photocopying charges, or other incidental expenses will be advanced by RS during prosecution of this claim and will be deducted from any sum received by way of settlement, judgment, or award. A file preservation fee of $300.00 will be deducted in addition to these costs. This $300.00 amount may or may not reflect actual cost expended in client’s matter. Copies of the file and client papers will be made upon Client’s request at Client’s expense. All costs and charges are to be deducted from any gross sums after Attorney’s fees are deducted. Loans or advances to Client cannot be made prior to settlement of Client’s claim.
Consent of the undersigned shall be required for any settlement to become binding and Client agrees not to arbitrarily withhold consent to a reasonable settlement offer. In the event that Client accepts payments for part or all of any settlement, it is agreed that RS may receive costs and all fees at the time of said agreement and shall not be required to accept payments over time.
If No Recovery is Obtained, no fees shall be payable.
Discharge and Withdrawal. Client may discharge RS at any time. RS may withdraw without Client's consent for good cause and in accordance with the California Rules of Professional Conduct. Good cause includes Client's breach of this Contract, Client's refusal to cooperate with RS or to follow advice on a material matter or any other fact or circumstance that would render continuing representation unlawful or unethical. If Client discharges RS, Client agrees to pay either (1) the agreed percentage of the last settlement offer, or (2) $250.00 per hour, whichever is greater, plus all costs as described in D above.
Trial Costs. If, after investigating and/or prosecuting this action, RS determines that in its professional opinion that there is a substantial likelihood of a defense verdict at trial and explains the reasoning and factual basis to Client and Client is desirous of proceeding to trial against this recommendation, Client shall be required to advance all costs of prosecuting the action, including trial costs. These consist of expert, jury, witness, and exhibit fees and all other normal and customary charges.
Disclaimer of Guarantee. Nothing in this Contract and nothing in any statements to Client will be construed as a promise or guarantee about the outcome of Client's matter. RS makes no promises or guarantees. Comments about the outcome of Client's matter are expressions of opinion only.
Binding Arbitration. Client hereby agrees and authorizes RS to elect at its discretion binding arbitration in Client’s underlying case. Client understands and agrees that if this election occurs, Client waives his/her right to a jury trial.
Disputes. Client agrees that all disputes between Attorney and Client, including costs, fees, quality of service, malpractice claims to include breach of fiduciary duty, and or fraud shall be submitted to binding arbitration. Discovery shall be pursuant to the California Discovery Act. Client understands that binding arbitration waives their right to a jury trial.
Other Counsel. RS may find it necessary to hire or refer to other attorneys, and retain experts or support personnel in the representation of Client and Client consents to the referral to or hiring of such attorneys or others without further notice. Client acknowledges and understands that this includes but is not limited to all phases of settlement and litigation. Client further agrees that RS can negotiate any attorney fee division and/or referral fee with an associate or substituted attorney which includes but is not limited to payment of a referral fee by the attorney to RS from the gross settlement amount. If Client was referred to RS by another attorney, there will be a division of the Contingency Fee between RS and the referring counsel. Client understands and agrees that he/she is still legally obligated to pay the contingency fee percentage as indicated in this retainer agreement.
Medical Liens. Client expressly gives to RS authorization to pay directly to any Medical provider any balance owed by Client for related medical services. If a dispute between medical providers and Client occurs, Client authorizes RS to deduct their fees and costs and interplead any settlement under the applicable code for court review. Client authorizes RS to distribute all earned attorneys’ fees and costs from the gross settlement proceeds, and to interplead the balance of settlement funds with the state court, and that the lien holders and the Client shall be named as parties to said interpleader action.
Power of Attorney. Client expressly gives to RS full power and authority to sign Client's name to all checks, drafts, releases, court documents, and other instruments incidental to this claim, which power will be used only where the Client has consented to the settlement.
Disposition of Files & Records. Client has a right to receive copies of the records pertaining to Client’s case at any time upon request. However, Client agrees that after this matter is concluded, RS may dispose of Client’s file, in a reasonable manner, including shredding any confidential materials, three years after the matter is concluded. Client also agrees that their file will be stored solely in electronic format both during the case and after the matter is completed.
I hereby acknowledge that I have read this document, understand it, and agree to its terms.