We represent most of our clients on a contingency fee basis. This means that we do not charge our clients an hourly fee for the work we perform. Instead, our fees are based on a percentage of the recovery we are able to obtain for our client. If there is no recovery, then there is no fee. In deciding whether to offer representation on a contingency basis, our firm considers many factors, including: the facts as presented by the potential client, documentation relating to the client’s case, the law, the employer, our professional opinion as to the likelihood of success based on all of the information available to us, and the potential damages that may be obtained, such as lost wages and benefits, lost stock or stock options, emotional distress, and so forth.
The contingency fee compensates us for our time pursuing claims on our client’s behalf, as well as for the risk we assume of not being paid for our work until we obtain a recovery. However, the contingency fee does not compensate us for the out-of-pocket costs we incur pursuing a case. These costs vary from case to case and may include charges for court filings, court reporter services, expert witness fees, and mediation services. We do not benefit from these costs. Our firm typically advances these costs so that our clients do not have to pay them while they are unemployed and pursuing claims against their former employer. However, our clients remain responsible for reimbursing us for these costs.
On occasion, our firm engages in hourly representation. However, hourly litigation of employment matters can be extremely expensive, as a significant amount of time may be required to bring a case to a successful conclusion. Therefore, this is not an appropriate fee arrangement for most of our clients, who have recently lost their income and are dealing with the financial and emotional consequences of a job loss.
More commonly, we provide legal representation on an hourly basis to clients who need help on a limited basis. Clients often retain us on an hourly basis to review offer letters, executive compensation agreements, and severance agreements. We also provide advice and counseling on an hourly basis to clients who have questions about employment law or their legal rights.
If you contact Minnis & Smallets by telephone (415) 551-0885, or through our contact link, we will obtain information from you to assess if we are able to offer a free consultation.