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Patrick, Esq.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6693
Experience:  Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
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I filed a wage and hour claim using a lawyer who I initially

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I filed a wage and hour claim using a lawyer who I initially understand to be charging a contingency fee of 33 percent. When I looked at the agreement after again when I left his office, I found out he actually charged 44 percent and informed me too that she will seek an award for attorney's fees as well plus the 44 percent of whatever I get. Can I fire my attorney and get another attorney? We are in the discovery stage and defendant scheduled a deposition for me in 2 weeks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: California Employment Law
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thank you for entrusting me to answer your question. My goal is to answer your question completely and thoroughly and to provide excellent service.

I am very sorry to hear about your dissatisfaction with your current attorney. 44% contingency fees are unusually high unless that fee amount is for trial work.

To answer your question, litigants always retain the freedom to change their attorney, and the signing of a contingency fee agreement does not abridge that right.

Although an individual in your circumstance has the freedom to hire new counsel, your present attorney will be entitled to compensation at a reasonable hourly rate for all hours he or she has worked on your case to date once your case settles. This right to payment typically takes the form of a lien on any settlement or award you obtain. Effectively, the attorney's fee becomes "attached" to your case, and any subsequent attorney who decides to represent you will either have to reduce his or he fee proportionately, or you will have to pay them on top of what you owe to your previous attorney.

The good news is that if the case is in the preliminary stages of discovery, your present attorney likely has not worked a large number of hours on your case, and so their fee entitlement will likely be minimal.

So to summarize, while an individual in your circumstance has an unfettered right to change counsel, your present attorney will be entitled to payment at a reasonable hourly rate for all hours he or she has worked on your case. If the case is in the early stages of discovery, the number of hours worked is likely minimal.

I sincerely XXXXX XXXXX this information helps you and I wish you the best.

If you do not have any further concerns, I would be very grateful if you would give my answer a positive rating and click submit, as this is the only way I will receive credit for assisting you. If you have any additional concerns that you would like me to address, please feel free to let me know by hitting the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button and I will be more than happy to continue assisting you.

Finally, please bear in mind that none of the above constitutes legal advice nor is any attorney client relationship created between us.

Thank you and very kindest regards.
Patrick, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 6693
Experience: Significant experience in all areas of employment law.
Patrick, Esq. and other California Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We had mediation that lasted tor about 5 hours and we didnt settle. 3 months after, I received a notice from the lawyer that the Defendant is requesting for Production of Documents and Deposition for me scheduled in the next two weeks. I don't even hear my lawyer requesting the same from the Defendant. At this stage of the case, would it be advisable for me to find another lawyer who can provide me with adequate representation? I signed an Arbitration Agreement with my employer-Defendant at the beginning of my employment. The Defendant also sent an Offer to Confromise served last month, Code of Civil Procedure section 998 for 10,000. I was owed 90,000 in overtime pay.
Expert:  Patrick, Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you very much for your reply.

Here on Just Answer we can provide legal information but cannot advise you on a particular course of action, as that might be construed as "legal advice" in violation of the terms and conditions of this website and the rules of my state bar. I hope you can understand this limitation.

The above noted, the decision to keep your attorney or change attorneys is a very personal one and depends on factors too numerous and specific to discuss through this forum. What I can say is that it is not unusual for the plaintiff's counsel to go weeks or even months without contacting their client or taking new steps to further the litigation. Cases progress slowly, and your attorney may not be doing anything "wrong" by not requesting the production of documents at the same time those things are being requested from you.

If you have problems with the quality of service your attorney is providing that is one thing, but if your concern is the slightly higher percentage of his contingency fee, it would likely not be worth your while to switch attorneys, as it is unlikely you will wind up saving money since you will owe your present attorney for the value of his services plus the contingency fee of your new attorney.

Again I do apologize that I cannot be more specific in regard to your followup question, but I hope you can understand both my legal limitation and my factual limitation, since I can't provide "advice" nor do I have all the facts necessary to advise.

Please do not hesitate to let me know if anything about my answer is at all unclear. If I have answered your question, I would be very grateful for a positive rating of my service so that I may receive credit for assisting you.

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