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A Plea for a Second Opinion [If Desired]:

In medicine we are often told of the importance of getting a second opinion. Obviously, the same can be true in law. However, I like to take it a step further by saying that if you are dissatisfied with your existing attorney, there is nothing keeping you in that relationship. As someone who has been involved in the representation of clients who have discharged prior attorneys, I am happy to report that the contingent fee can be structured to protect the client. The way it is done is to have a fee agreement with the client where the client pays no more than he/she contracted with the original attorney. If I, as a successor lawyer, feel the case is worthwhile and would take it, I would not detriment the client by charging a second fee. Rather, both attorneys, the original and myself as successor, should split the originally contracted fee such that the client would not be paying one fee on top of the other. I am not saying that this is the only appropriate way to handle a client’s case where that client has discharged the prior attorney. However, it is the way in which my firm is most comfortable in handling such a case and has led to many happy results for clients. I am not encouraging anyone to discharge their existing attorney. I simply want to note that if a client is in an unhappy relationship, that client should be able to find another attorney and not suffer an excessive financial burden. This seems to work to everyone’s benefit.

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