How do I know if an attorney’s fee is fair?
The answer to this question can be found in California Rules of Professional Conduct rule 4-200. That rule states:
“(A) A member shall not enter into an agreement for, charge, or collect an illegal or unconscionable fee.
(B) Unconscionability of a fee shall be determined on the basis of all the facts and circumstances existing at the time the agreement is entered into except where the parties contemplate that the fee will be affected by later events. Among the factors to be considered, where appropriate, in determining the conscionability of a fee are the following: (1) The amount of the fee in proportion to the value of the services performed; (2) The relative sophistication of the member and the client; (3) The novelty and difficulty of the questions involved and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly; (4) The likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the member; (5) The amount involved and the results obtained; (6) The time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances; (7) The nature and length of the professional relationship with the client; (8) The experience, reputation, and ability of the member or members performing the services; (9) Whether the fee is fixed or contingent; (10) The time and labor required; (11) The informed consent of the client to the fee.”
Our firm’s hourly rates are based on the attorneys’ years of experience, efficiency of work, and overall effectiveness. The rates may be revised by the firm annually based on generally understood prevailing rates in the Los Angeles/Orange County legal community.
Our firm’s standard contingency fee is 40% of the client’s gross recovery, and the client pays the costs our firm has advanced out of his or her remaining portion of the recovery.
The principal of Pedersen Law, Neil Pedersen, has developed a business plan that avoids the accumulation of unnecessary overhead and operating expenses that would otherwise require the firm to charge higher hourly rates similar to what the larger firms charge.