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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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    Alexis Cahill represented me on a personal injury case. I was hurt in A car accident and I could not be happier with the outcome Alexis was able to achieve for me. She was conscientious, answered all my questions In a timely manner, and was very eas...

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    I reached out to Feinberg & Alban thru their website. Robert Feinberg called me back the same day. He made me feel important and very comfortable. Colleen Santora was the attorney on my case and she was fantastic! She kept me well informed through ou...

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    Vern Quashie

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    Attorney Colleen Santora, was a pleasure to work with throughout my personal injury case. She makes the process seamless for her clients and is there to answer any questions you have. She negotiated every aspect of my case and got me the settlement I...

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    Cody

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    We were very pleased with all aspects of this law firm! My husband was struck by a truck while crossing the street. We hired attorney Colleen Santora of Feinberg & Alban PC. Colleen immediately showed empathy towards my husbands condition, aside fro...

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    Cleopatra Anderson

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    Attorney Colleen Santora assisted me after a terrifying highway incident. She came to my home because I was not able to travel, and she remained compassionate, professional, and highly competent throughout my case. I would highly recommend retaining...

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    Susan Hawes

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