Limit Fees on Attorneys- Is It a Good Idea?

A bill in the Florida legislature, HB 903, would limit the amount a trial attorney could take home when the action is brought by the state.

In a high profile case such as a Jacksonville tobacco lawsuit or pharmaceutical litigation in Florida, the state Attorney General’s office will bring in outside firms to help.

The proposed bill would cap attorney’s fees at $50 million, while outside law firms helping with a case would be capped to 24% of the first $10 million, 20% of the next five million and 15 % of the following five million.

The lawyer would be paid at the end of the day, but remember, these trials never take a day, or a month, or even a year. Sometimes they take decades of expensive litigation that is not compensated until the case is finally resolved.

The Florida Bar has adopted a maximum fee schedule that attorneys are permitted to charge in personal injury, property damage, product liability, and auto accidents in Florida. Limits apply in medical malpractice cases if you agree to waive you right to recovery under the Florida Constitution.

And let’s not forget that in November 2004, Florida voters approved Amendment 3, even though virtually every major newspaper editorial recommended voters reject it. The medical lobby was the backer of Amendment 3, so that lawsuits could be reduced. And it’s worked. Many have been unable to find lawyers to represent them in malpractice cases.

Florida already has caps on attorney’s fees. The bottom line is that limiting reasonable fees is bad for the consumer because it limits the number of attorneys willing to take their case. Going to court is still an American right – no matter how much special interests would like us to forget that.

If you have any questions regarding the new bill or any other legal matters, please contact the skilled Florida personal injury lawyers at Farah & Farah.