Trusted By The World’s
Leading Corporations

Photo of the legal professionals at Klein & Wilson
  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. Firm Overview
  4.  » 
  5. Fee Structures
  6.  » Legal Malpractice – Hybrid/Contingency Fees

Specific Questions for Legal Malpractice Cases on a Contingency Fee or Hybrid Fee Basis

Why should clients consider hiring Klein & Wilson LLP to handle legal malpractice cases on a hybrid or contingency fee basis?

  • The legal malpractice cases that we handle are usually complex, requiring significant discovery, expert witness testimony and several substantive hearings before we get to trial.
  • We accept very few cases. We take a tailored approach to your case.
  • Most of the time, we prepare a unique and thorough case evaluation at the outset of a case which provides clients a roadmap of their case through trial. This roadmap identifies strengths, weaknesses, and a case theme that we use at every stage of the case.
  • We have been representing clients in legal malpractice cases since 1994.
  • We have won awards for our work, including trial lawyer of the year from the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association.
  • We have been recognized by every major industry rating publication as being at the top of our field.
  • There are less than 100 attorneys in California who are certified specialists in legal malpractice law, and Mark B. Wilson is one of them.
  • Most of those lawyers on that list handle the defense side of legal malpractice cases. We handle cases for clients against their former attorneys – a unique specialty.
  • Wilson is regularly hired to testify as an expert in legal malpractice cases.
  • Our colleagues trust us with their referrals.
  • Hybrid and contingency fee arrangements can make litigation more affordable for you than pure hourly fee arrangements, particularly if you lack the resources to proceed on a full hourly basis.
  • If we are willing to accept your case on a hybrid or contingency fee basis, then you know that we see significant value in your case, and we have an incentive that aligns with yours, to maximize your recovery.
  • Hybrid and contingency fee arrangements reduce some of the financial barriers to litigation.
  • Klein & Wilson LLP has a history of success in settling large cases and winning big trials if the cases don’t settle.
    • We have recovered almost $300 million for clients in business litigation and legal malpractice cases.
    • We have won over 90 percent of the cases that we have tried before juries, judges, and arbitrators.
  • Our keys to success are:
    • thorough case evaluation
    • development of a case theme and presentation of your case around that theme and
    • the use of multimedia to present your story in court.

What are some common examples or scenarios that may constitute legal malpractice?

Legal malpractice claims fall primarily into two categories: litigation malpractice and transactional malpractice.

Litigation malpractice happens when an attorney who is handling a lawsuit makes a mistake during the case that negatively impacts the outcome. Mistakes include failing to warn a client about the risks of litigation, failing to file the lawsuit timely, failing to identify the right parties, claims or defenses, failing to make the right arguments or making them poorly, and failing to designate the right experts.

Transactional malpractice happens when an attorney who is drafting a contract or estate planning document makes a mistake that negatively impacts the client’s goal. Mistakes include failing to include the right terms, writing inconsistent provisions, and ignoring tax consequences.

In addition to legal malpractice lawsuits, does Klein & Wilson LLP handle other disputes between clients and lawyers?

We regularly get hired to handle fee disputes between lawyers and their former clients. Most of the time we represent the former client in these disputes, but sometimes we represent law firms.

What are the common issues that arise in fee disputes between attorneys and their clients?

Frequently, law firms fail to document the attorney-client relationship properly. When that happens, a fee dispute can arise.

For instance, before an attorney can receive a contingency fee agreement, the fee agreement must have certain provisions.

When an attorney represents more than one client, failure to address conflicts of interest can result in the court declaring the fee agreement void.

Finally, sometimes lawyers overcharge their clients, and when that happens, a fee dispute can lead to a lawsuit.

Why is it important for people injured by their former lawyers to hire someone with experience in this area?

Legal malpractice is a narrow specialty with many nuances. For instance, there is a one-year statute of limitation on legal malpractice cases – a very short period. Evaluating when that statute begins accruing is essential.

Here’s another example. Just because a lawyer committed malpractice, does not mean that a client has a legal malpractice case. The attorney handling the legal malpractice case must know how to evaluate whether the client suffered damage arising from the malpractice and often that requires expert testimony. When clients hire us, they are getting a law firm that specializes in this field.

How long has Klein & Wilson LLP been handling Legal Malpractice cases?

We have been representing clients in legal malpractice cases since 1994. Since then, we have tried several legal malpractice cases before juries, courts without juries, and arbitrators. We have recovered approximately $40 million for victims of legal malpractice.

What are some of Klein & Wilson LLP’s accolades in the legal malpractice field?

The Orange County Trial Lawyers Association has awarded us with the Trial Lawyer of the Year award twice for our work on legal malpractice cases.

The Daily Journal is the most widely read legal industry publication in California. The Daily Journal has twice listed Klein & Wilson LLP as one of the top legal malpractice law firms in California.

Super Lawyers is a peer review rating company. Super Lawyers has listed Klein & Wilson LLP in its Top 50 list of Orange County law firms and its Top 100 list of Southern California law firms.

Best Lawyers is the oldest peer review publication company in the legal profession. Best Lawyers has named Klein & Wilson LLP as a Tier One law firm in legal malpractice law.

How many attorneys are certified to handle legal malpractice cases?

The California State Bar certifies lawyers in a variety of specialty areas, including legal malpractice. The certification process is rigorous. There are presently less than 100 attorneys in California that are certified legal malpractice specialists, and Mark B. Wilson is one of them. Most certified malpractice lawyers work on the defense side. Klein & Wilson LLP works for plaintiffs – the former clients who were injured by their lawyers.

When Should Clients Call Klein & Wilson LLP to Discuss Their Legal Malpractice Case?

You should call us if you have suffered over $5 million of damages arising from a legal malpractice dispute. Legal malpractice law is a unique specialty that very few firms have mastered. Mark B. Wilson is a State Bar certified specialist in legal malpractice law, and Klein & Wilson LLP thrives in this space. We have recovered millions of dollars for clients in legal malpractice cases, and we will take good care of you.