I'm Lucy, and I'd be happy to answer your questions today. I'm sorry to hear that this happened.
The terms and conditions of this site unfortunately don't allow us to make specific referrals, but I wanted to give you some information. Lawyers who take cases in contingency work in personal injury/tort cases, where they can take a percentage of a large pain and suffering settlement, or in civil rights suits or cases that come with punitive damage awards. This is so the client can still get reimbursement for their expenses, but the lawyer gets paid. Contract cases are typically billed hourly, or sometimes in a lump sum. I'm afraid I've never met a lawyer who takes breach of contract cases on contingency. A good place to find an attorney in your area who handles this type of case is www.martindale.com.
With that said, you do not need a lawyer to help you sue for breach of contract. If the wedding is in California, that's where the suit has to be brought unless the photographer lives in Nevada and was planning to travel for the ceremony. California law allows a person to sue for up to $10,000 in Small Claims Court, and they have all the forms and instructions online. All you have to do is fill out the form, file it (which can be done by mail usually), then go to the hearing. California doesn't allow lawyers in Small Claims Court, so if the total you paid was less than $10,000, there's no reason to even look for someone.
If you paid more than $10,000, you can use these forms to open a lawsuit in the Superior Court.
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