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How Legal Fees Work in Lemon Law

Lemon Law Attorney Fees

At Goldsmith West, we make it clear that we will evaluate your case for free and not charge you lemon law attorney fees if we accept the case. Consumers may understandably wonder how this can be. While we have described the concept of fee-shifting in our FAQ section, we feel it is worth providing more detail about lemon lawyer cost in consumer claims.

In the American law system, each party generally pays its own legal fees. When a plaintiff’s attorney takes a case without an upfront charge, it is often said that the attorney is taking the case “on contingency.” This usually means that the attorney recognizes a proper claim, and is willing to take the case without guarantee of payment in exchange for the rights to a portion of any proceeds from the litigation.

Fee-Shifting Provisions

Some laws require the defendant to pay the plaintiff’s lemon law attorney fees if the plaintiff prevails. These rules are known as “fee-shifting” provisions. California’s state lemon law (the Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act) and the federal Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, along with various other consumer protection laws, have fee-shifting provisions.

Fee-shifting provisions make it possible for an attorney to take your case on contingency under more favorable terms. Rather than claiming a portion of your proceeds, the attorney on a fee-shifting case can expect a qualified claim to earn a separate right to the payment of lemon law attorney fees.

Despite the fee-shifting provisions in lemon law, some plaintiff’s law firms will claim a portion of the claimant’s recovery — as is standard in non-fee-shifting claims — while also claiming the payment of the claimant’s lemon lawyer cost under the fee-shifting provision.

Consumers should be careful to consider this situation before retaining an attorney, even on a contingency basis. The manner in which an attorney’s fees are structured can have a significant impact on the compensation consumers receive through settlement or in court.

Need Lemon Case Advice?

At Goldsmith West, we evaluate your lemon law case for free. If we accept the case, we don’t charge you attorney’s fees. We have no incentive to encourage you to pursue a claim that isn’t worth your time, because we only receive payment if you make a recovery. If you think there is a possibility that you have a lemon claim, let us help you evaluate it. Schedule a free consultation today.

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