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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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    While visiting boston, my husband was injured and required surgery, and the tribulations that followed. Living out of state, we had NO idea what to do, and we needed guidance. Collen and her team were and ARE a God sent. Colleen answered all of ...

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    I worked with Colleen Santora and had a great experience! I was very overwhelmed after my injury (MBTA at fault) and she made the process clear and easy. She always answered any questions I had and answered my emails within minutes every time. She al...

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    On vacation my mother had an accident in the Boston Airport that required surgery and prolonged physical therapy. It was a long, painful and extremely stressful process. My mother felt hopeless and her chronic pain was debilitating. My mother finally...

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    Robert Feinberg was an absolute delight to work with. My car accident was a horrific experience. Robert and his team secured the top dollar settlement possible for my case. It was a great decision to work with his team, from the very first com...

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    Colleen was great to deal with and communication was easy.

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