What You Pay
Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore almost always works strictly on a contingency-fee basis, that is, we earn a percentage of any recovery on your case only if we are successful in obtaining a financial recovery for you. The contingency-fee percentage that we earn is fully approved by the Florida Supreme Court. Our standard fee is 1/3 of any recovery if we are able to resolve your claim without filing suit, before the defendant formally answers a complaint that is filed, or if the defendant admits liability in responding to the initial complaint; otherwise, our fee is 40% of any recovery.
There is an additional 5% fee if an appeal is involved, which would normally be handled by an appeals specialist retained by us on your behalf.
Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore will advance all costs of investigating your claim and for the lawsuit itself. These include the costs of filing, expert witnesses, deposition fees, travel, court reporting, investigator fees, witness fees, service-of-process fees, long distance telephone, and other routine out-of-pocket expenses. If we make no recovery on your behalf, you will owe us nothing and are not required to repay us for any of the costs that we invested in pursuing your case. If a recovery is made, you will reimburse our costs out of your portion of the recovery. You have a right to know what the costs are as the case progresses, and we are always more than willing to share that information with you.
On some occasions, if the facts and circumstances of a case appear to be very simple and a resolution would be expected quickly, we are willing to reduce our normal contingency fee and make other fee arrangements. Such cases are rare, but we are certainly willing to discuss the issue. If you have the financial resources to pay an hourly fee for our services, we are also willing to discuss that option with you if that is your preference.
In Florida, any agreement to represent a client on a contingency-fee basis is required to be in writing and signed by both the law firm and the client. In addition, the Florida Supreme Court requires all clients who are being represented on a contingency-fee basis to receive and sign a “statement of client’s rights” which has been prepared by the Florida Supreme Court. The document describes in general terms the rights that you have as a client. A copy of the Statement of Client’s Rights required by the Florida Supreme Court is available on our site for your easy review. Simply click on “Protecting your Rights” tab on the left. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let us know. We are happy to answer any questions that you may have.