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Lawyers Can Help You, But They Will Get Their Share

By Sophia Stewart

For the past four years, this 60 year old woman has been making monthly payments to an attorney. The attorney represented her in her disability case with the state compensation fund office, which amounted to her winning a $101 monthly payment. One lawyer has earned a monthly payment from a disabled miner for the last 10 years. The miner was awarded $134 each month. The lawyer takes a large share of it.

These cases clearly show how the poor can’t afford legal fees. They certainly are not unusual. The disabled woman’s husband is bedridden with Cancer, and they receive welfare benefits. Legal fee issues don’t just affect the poor. The middle class suffer from high legal services bills.

It has been suggested by one author in his book about attorneys that the American middle class is the most common victim of lawyers because they have property and scant funds, but lack adequate representation in the state legislatures. Ironically, most of the attorneys in the U.S. were born into the middle class, so the potential interpretation is that they subconsciously hate the middle class from whence they came.

Usually, lawyers fees are calculated on an hourly basis. One lawyer who concentrates on compensation cases argues that doctors and plumbers are paid on an hourly basis, so why shouldn’t attorneys be paid hourly? While it is general concensus that attorneys should be paid for their time, there is still the argument that perhaps they should not be allowed to charge such high fees for compensation-type cases where the payments are over a lifetime. Lifetime payments from clients are not unusual for divorces, injury suits, will probates and real estate investment.

There have been cases of lawyers who steal from their victims, like orphans and widows who have money that is trusted to the lawyer. In some cases, the lawyers have simply charged insane fees to their clients, instead of taking the money straight up. The legal fees for one lawyer and his partner added up to almost 60 percent of a six figure estate in a period of five years. The case was from the estate of a man who was ruled unable to tend to his own affairs. The good news is, both lawyers were ordered to return the money they had taken for fees. Another lawyer, who had a reputation for being a bit eccentric, brought the pair to court. Many other lawyers would not even think about taking the case, but he did.

There has been speculation of shady activity which has contributed to the legal fees problem, and it’s because of the way the courts are used as a news source. Though the fees awarded guardians and lawyers are certainly newsworthy, this isn’t widely reported. It is easily seen at local courts. The bar association also has something to do with this problem. They have the reputation of keeping out of the lawyer and the client’s relationship. They also keep on the defensive about anything negative that may be said in the media about the legal profession.

More lawyers are changing to the contingency fee arrangement rather than the generally accepted hourly fee arrangement. One lawyer, and his bar association, really would like a minimum percentage amount set for all cases. This is known as the contingent fee, which is a percentage of the case winnings. Most personal injury suits give the lawyer twenty-five to fifty percent of the winnings.

America is the country that invented the contingent fee. The majority of Europe disallows percentages such as contingency fees. First used in the United States in 1848, contingency fees were designed to helped injured workers. These workers were unable to pay the lawyers fees, so the contingent fee would assure they were paid for their services.

For top-quality resources on personal injury lawyers make sure to visit them. Learn about melbourne compensation lawyers.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Stewart, Sophia "Lawyers Can Help You, But They Will Get Their Share." Lawyers Can Help You, But They Will Get Their Share. 3 Oct. 2010. 22 Dec 2017 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Stewart, S (2010, October 3). Lawyers Can Help You, But They Will Get Their Share. Retrieved December 22, 2017, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Stewart, Sophia "Lawyers Can Help You, But They Will Get Their Share"

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