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Can I Change Lawyers in a Personal Injury Case?

The Rules of Professional Responsibility require that a contingent fee agreement “be in writing and signed in duplicate by both the lawyer and the client…” S.J.C. Rule 3:07, Rule 1.5(c). The rule sets out the cases in which a contingent fee is permissible—there must be a res, Latin for a thing or object, and in this context, a sum of money—which includes the category of personal injury. Numerous other rules have been added to 1.5(c). I welcome those requirements and I think a fair observation is that the contingent fee contract spells out the rights of the consumer clearly.

Years ago, it was not uncommon to have a client who had discharged another office where no contingent fee agreement had been signed. In more recent years, I have found that the discharged lawyer has indeed had a signed contingent fee agreement. But what is crucial for the consumer is that he/she should never pay twice for the cost of pursuing a case. This is why when I take on a case which has been with another office, I always put in the fee agreement that my compensation will be reduced by the amount which is owed to the prior attorney. I think this is the fairest way to resolve what can be a difficult dilemma: it insures that the client will be able to use an attorney with whom he/she is comfortable and yet will not pay an excessive price for doing so. I have seen contingent fee contracts that call for another approach but I believe these other approaches impose an unfair burden to the client.

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    My wife with our dog crossed the street when was hit by a car. Our attorney Alexis Cahill was professional, knowledgeable and reliable. We had good communications with her all the time while my wife recovered from her injuries. We are completely sati...

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    I got chance make car accident (it's not my fault). Before I didn't have any accident like that one. I choose this agency accidentally due to it's location was convenient to my job. I was surprise (good surprise) that agency lawyer (Colleen Santora) ...

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    Colleen Santora was a great attorney to have during my motor accident. She is very responsive and great at her job. She supported me mentally and professionally. I recommend her to everyone who wants real results.

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    Marsha Alban is a great attorney and very easy to work with!

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    I have had the pleasure of working with Attorney Santora several times, and she has never let me down. She is professional, compassionate, knowledgeable, and always keeps my best interest at the forefront. I have recommended her to friends without he...

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