Thank you for choosing VanDerGinst Law to represent your interests. To get us on your side as easily and quickly as possible we have created this online attorney retention agreement. By filling this out and submitting it you will have officially hired us to start working for you right away. We have tried to make the terms of the agreement easy to understand. But, if you have any questions feel free to call us before submitting the form. Once it has been submitted you will get an automatic email reply indicating we have received it. Thereafter, we will immediately start pursuing your case.
Attorney Retention Agreement
I, the undersigned (hereinafter “Client”), hereby retain and employ VanDerGinst Law, P.C., or its successors in interest (Hereinafter VanDerGinst Law) as attorneys to represent the interests outlined below, regarding a claim for damages against whatever persons or entities may be liable for personal injuries and/or death, stemming from an incident/accident which occurred on or about: List Date of Incident/Accident:
In consideration of VanDerGinst Law’s agreement to investigate, evaluate and prosecute the potential claim, Client agrees as follows:
I. Attorney Fees
1. The person retaining VanDerGinst Law is:
Check and fill in one of the following descriptions: Name: Name of minor or disabled adult Name of the representative signing on behalf of the minor/disabled adult. Name of the deceased person Name of the representative signing on behalf of the estate.
2. Client agrees to pay to VanDerGinst Law the following fee from the amount of money recovered for the claim.
a. 33 1/3% of any recovery if settled before filing suit.
b. 40% of the total amount recovered from any mediation, arbitration, verdict, or settlement after the filing of a lawsuit.
c. 45% of whatever may be recovered if a second trial or an appeal to the Appellate or Supreme Court becomes necessary.
3. The percentages referenced in Paragraph 2 will be calculated on and subtracted from the gross amount of any recovery obtained before outstanding expenses or other costs have been deducted.
4. Client understands that this is a contingent fee contract and, if no recovery is made, Client
will not be obligated to pay any attorney fee.
5. Client hereby grants an attorney’s fee lien immediately applicable to this matter. Client understands that the lien may be used to protect VanDerGinst Law’s fee for work done in the event Client discharges VanDerGinst Law without cause.
6. In the event that Client discharges VanDerGinst Law without cause, Client will reimburse VanDerGinst Law for any and all costs and expenses that have been forwarded by the firm on Client’s behalf, including but not limited to the investigation costs further defined herein. Client shall also pay to VanDerGinst Law as its fee for services rendered in pursuing this matter a sum equivalent to 33 1/3% of the highest settlement offer received before filing suit, or 40% of the highest settlement offer received by VanDerGinst Law if suit has been filed, before VanDerGinst Law was discharged. If there has been no settlement offer prior to the discharge of VanDerGinst Law, then Client shall pay to VanDerGinst Law a fee based on a quantum meruit basis at $200 per hour for lawyer and $65 per hour for time spent by support staff.
7. Client further agrees that in addition to the above attorney fees, payment for all court costs, subpoena costs, photos, depositions, court reporter costs, reports, witness statements, expert fees, investigation costs, travel and hotel costs necessary to prosecute the claim and all other out-of-pocket expenses will be paid from any recovery made on behalf of client. Client agrees that decisions as to what costs need to be incurred in order to prosecute the case are within the sole and reasonable discretion of VanDerGinst Law.
8. Client understands and specifically agrees that an investigation cost of $250 will be charged for initial investigation and file preparation. Charges for investigation may increase during the pendency of the file, depending upon the needs that arise in preparation of the case.
10. If VanDerGinst Law agrees to advance costs on behalf of Client, Client authorizes VanDerGinst Law to borrow the funds to pay all authorized legal expenses and advances as they are incurred and to treat the interest on such loans as a legal expense. It is understood that these funds may be borrowed from any financial institution, including bank and private lending institutions, or from the financial reserves of VanDerGinst Law. Funds borrowed from an outside financial institution will bear interest at the rate charged by the institution. Funds borrowed from VanDerGinst Law will bear interest at the rate of ten percent (10%) per annum. VanDerGinst Law is authorized to disclose (a) my name; (b) the amount of legal expenses or loans incurred on my behalf; and (c) unprivileged information to the extent necessary to secure this financing. VanDerGinst Law is also authorized to disclose my medical records and bills relevant to the matter for which the firm is retained, if necessary to secure financing from specialty lenders who require such information when making lending decisions.
11. Client further agrees that an amount equal to one-half (½) of one percent (1%) of the gross recovery shall be paid to VanDerGinst Law to cover the cost of file set-up, postage, photocopies, and telephone expenses. These will be deducted from any recovery after the deduction of attorney fees.
III. Associate Counsel
12. Client agrees that VanDerGinst Law may associate additional attorneys or law firms to assist with this case and Client agrees to the sharing of fees between lawyers. Client understands the terms herein apply to other attorneys or law firms associated on this case. Client understands that association of other attorneys or law firms does not increase the amount of the attorney fee due to VanDerGinst Law on a successful resolution of the claim. Client understands that VanDerGinst Law may associate other firms or lawyers that are licensed to practice law in the appropriate venue and that local counsel will be associated at the expense of VanDerGinst Law should such association become required by the prosecution of the case. Client agrees to pay the legal fee provided herein regardless of where Attorney is admitted to practice.
In the alternative, Client agrees to allow VanDerGinst Law to refer the case to other counsel when, in its estimation, doing so would be beneficial to the client. Client will be informed of any such referral and any division of attorney labor resulting therefrom and will have final approval in acceptance of that attorney relationship.
IV. Medical Payments/Health Insurance Claims (If Applicable)
13. If Client’s claim includes reimbursement for medical expenses incurred in treating the injury which is the basis of the claim, Client may, by contract or statute, be required to repay part or all of those amounts to the party who paid the medical expenses (i.e., subrogation). Even when a lien for treatment is not properly perfected or is unavailable due to state law, client expressly authorizes VanDerGinst Law to negotiate with treatment providers to address and pay all liens and medical bills reasonably related to treatments for injuries from the incident/accident.
V. Power of Attorney/Signing of Name
14. VanDerGinst Law is hereby authorized to bring suit when and in any matter deemed advisable, however, the consent of Client must be secured before any final settlement is made. Further Client empowers VanDerGinst Law to take all steps in said matter deemed by VanDerGinst Law to be advisable, including but not limited to, effectuating a compromise, instituting legal proceedings and taking any other appropriate steps.
15. Client hereby gives VanDerGinst Law power-of-attorney to execute any and all documents associated with the claim for which VanDerGinst Law is retained, including pleadings, contracts, checks or drafts, settlement agreements, compromises and releases, verifications, dismissals, orders, and any and all other documents which Client could properly execute.
16. Client agrees that if Client has provided a valid e-mail address to VanDerGinst Law, Client will receive periodic e-mail newsletters and agrees that VanDerGinst Law has Client’s permission and consent to send them without the need for prior approval.
17. In the event that an investigation leads VanDerGinst Law to the conclusion that it is not economically viable to pursue this matter, Client grants VanDerGinst Law the right to withdraw, after giving Client reasonable notice. Such notice shall include written notification to the last known address Client has provided to VanDerGinst Law. Client understands that if Client fails to notify VanDerGinst Law of Client’s address, and after due diligence, VanDerGinst Law is unable to locate Client because of Client’s apparent or actual disappearance, Client grants VanDerGinst Law the right to withdraw from this case, without notice to Client. In the alternative, Client grants VanDerGinst Law the right to settle this claim, deposit said proceeds in trust, less any applicable attorney fees, costs, and expenses, if failure to do so would prejudice this claim or allow the statute of limitations to expire.
18. In the event that reasonable professional efforts have been made by VanDerGinst Law in the pursuit of Client’s claim, and Client is unwilling to accept a settlement offer for an amount that VanDerGinst Law determines is reasonable in light of the issues of liability, damages, and probability of collecting any judgment, VanDerGinst Law reserves the right to withdraw as counsel after giving Client reasonable written notice. In such event, Client shall pay to VanDerGinst Law as a fee in pursuing the claim to that point, a legal fee consistent with the attorney fee percentages that are outlined above. VII. Representations and Exclusions
19. Client understands that VanDerGinst Law has made no representation concerning the successful termination of Client’s claim or the favorable outcome of any legal action that may be filed and has not guaranteed that VanDerGinst Law will obtain reimbursement to Client of any of Client’s costs and expenses resulting from the incident out of which the claim arises. Client further expressly acknowledges that all statements of VanDerGinst Law on these matters are statements of opinion only.
20. Client understands that this agreement does not include representation of Client’s property damage or rental vehicle aspects of this claim, should the same be involved. Client also understands that this agreement does not retain any attorney regarding any workers’ compensation or medical malpractice matter, should the same be involved. Client understands that Client may enter into a separate agreement to retain VanDerGinst Law relating to these matters.
21. Client acknowledges that Client has received a copy of this agreement.
The above employment is hereby accepted on the terms stated above.
VanDerGinst Law, P.C., by: (For Office use Only)