“Contingency Fee” means that a client doesn’t pay the attorney anything unless the attorney wins the case. Instead, a lawyer takes a percentage of an eventual recovery. Stephen Foster handles more cases on “contingency” than most attorneys. Generally speaking, Stephen Foster has found that it is most professionally rewarding to be in the same financial position as his clients. Similarly, when Stephen Foster’s clients do not receive large judgments or settlements it is not rewarding to hand a client a large bill.
The typical model for a law firm that handles high stakes litigation involves a large number of associates. The associates are typically very new attorneys that are evaluated and judged primarily on the number of “billable hours” that they charge the firm’s clients. Stephen Foster does not have a large number of associates that he has to find work for, regardless of what an individual client wants or needs.
It has been Stephen Foster’s experience that any financial losses that might result from lost “billable hours” are more than made up for by the long term benefits of earning a reputation as an attorney that does what is best for his clients. There are strict rules that the State Bar of Texas has put in place that limit when an attorney may take a case on contingency, so it might not be an option in all cases.
Contingency fees are not available in all cases. When any attorney at Simpson, Foster & Gold represents an individual that is facing criminal charges they do not take these cases on contingency. In Texas, it is illegal to only collect a fee for a victory in a criminal case. There are other situations where either the law or Texas ethics rules make it illegal to take a case on a contingency basis.
Whether or not it is appropriate or possible for Stephen Foster to take a case on a contingency basis will depend upon the specific facts of a situation. All consultations, whether over the phone or in person, are confidential and free.