There is usually no shortage of lawyers who will take a case with a large retainer and substantial hourly charges, but it is tougher to secure a lawyer paid only if the case is successful. Start by presenting a clear summary. Indicate what documentation supports your claim and, if possible, provide expert support. Here are examples that highlight the positive and negative aspects of many presentations.

Good Presentation

Our company purchased capacitors that were defective. The items cost $121,000, and a replacement contract cost $162,000. We also spent $43,120 in repair and other costs and have a claim for lost business of $91,410. Our lost business claim is based on our accountant’s report, and we also have a report detailing the defect in the capacitor. There is a disclaimer in the contract about lost profits.

Poor Presentation

This is a very strong case involving outrageous fraud with the sale of blatantly defective capacitors. The defendant destroyed our new business, and we seek at least $2 million. The case should quickly settle once you file the claim, and we checked with another lawyer who confirmed the case is very strong. I have all the papers and documents, so a lawyer can start immediately. I have had several legal cases, so I know exactly what is required.

Guidelines for Presenting Your Case

  1. Begin with a Clear and Concise Summary: Clear claims are appealing to attorneys. They can be accurately evaluated, and the time to prepare and litigate them is less. In contrast, cases with many different issues, items, and claims may be difficult to initially evaluate, making them less attractive to the contingency lawyer.
  2. Provide Expert Reports: Many legal cases require expert reports, and their availability is a plus.
  3. Exaggeration Can Hurt Your Claim: In an hourly case, overstated facts can cost the client substantial money in misspent fees. In a contingency case, the lawyer may find they spent hundreds of hours on what turned out to be a dubious claim.
  4. Other Lawyers’ Opinions Who Reject the Case Mean Little: Their action indicates they were not convinced of the claim, and their statements about the case may be meaningless pleasantries. Cases rarely settle quickly for substantial amounts, and suggesting that will happen may diminish your credibility.
  5. Mentioning Potential Problems Upfront: This will enhance your credibility.
  6. If You Have a Fraud Claim: Provide an attachment indicating what was said, when, why it was false, and how you were damaged by it.
  7. Documents: The lawyer will need to gather information and various documents to prepare the claim.

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