FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
For instance, a flat fee arrangement is usually appropriate for non-litigation matters such as a simple will, power of attorney, incorporation or dissolution of a business, certain immigration matters, etc.
The contingency fee – meaning that a lawyer gets as his or her fee the agreed upon percentage of the recovery if the lawsuit is successfully resolved – is best suited for matters such as personal injury cases, employment discrimination cases, consumer fraud cases, and certain collection (breach of contract) actions.
Another variation of the contingent fee arrangement is where a claim is brought under the so-called “fee-shifting statutes” – federal or state statutes that provide for the award of the attorney’s fees to the successful litigant; such attorney’s fees are awarded in addition to the damages. In these cases the attorney fee is usually the greater of, but not both, the contingency fee (calculated as the percentage of the recovery) or the attorney’s fees awarded by the court (calculated as the hourly rate times the number of hours spent on the case). The examples of such fee-shifting statutes are many federal employment and consumer protection laws as well as certain state statutes, such as the New Jersey Law Again Discrimination Act and the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.
The vast majority of other litigation cases are billed for on an hourly basis, with the hourly rate depending upon the attorney’s experience, complexity of the case, and certain other factors.