For “lemon law” cases, the Song Beverly Consumer Warranty Act provides for attorney’s fees, costs, and, expenses if the buyer prevails. This means that you will not pay Luis Aguirre Law (Attorney) any attorney’s fees, costs or expenses if we prevail on your case because the manufacturer will pay us those fees, costs, and expenses.
Attorney does not charge a contingency fee on “lemon law” cases that do not involve a “civil penalty” or “punitive damages.” A contingency fee is a fee that is a percentage of the client’s civil penalty or punitive damages award. In lemon law cases involving a “civil penalty” (which can be “up to two times the amount of actual damages”) or “punitive damages,” Attorney may charge a contingency fee borne out of the civil penalty or punitive damages, which would be a percentage of the civil penalty or punitive damages, but not the amount of “actual damages.”
Some cases may involve other causes of action. Examples of those causes of action are fraud, misrepresentation, violations under the CLRA (California Consumers Legal Remedies Act) and violations of California Business and Professions Code 17200 and 17500, et seq. For those cases, a contingency fee may apply. In that instance, Attorney’s contingency fee is borne out of the client’s damages award, as a percentage of the client’s damages for those causes of action.
In all instances, except in lemon law cases where we prevail and the manufacturer pays Attorney costs and expenses or where allowed by law and written in the agreement, costs and expenses are ultimately the responsibility of the client, and client is liable for those costs and expenses. For example, in an instance that we do not prevail, costs and expenses are ultimately the responsibility of the client, and client is liable for those costs and expenses. Costs and expenses include but are not limited to a vehicle inspection, and court costs. Even in the event we do not prevail, you will pay us no attorney’s fees.
In an instance that the client wishes to drop the case without cause – simply deciding not to continue with the case – the client would be responsible only for costs and expenses associated with the case to date, but not for attorney’s fees for work completed by the attorney or staff. In cases where the client drops a case due to dissatisfaction and then hires another counsel or law firm to continue case, Attorney reserves the right to put a “lien” with the new counsel or law firm for services rendered.
Sometimes a manufacturer would remit a check to Attorney that includes both the client’s damages and Attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses. What this means is that the manufacturer included both, the client’s damages and the attorney’s fees, costs, and expenses in one check and Attorney in turn will remit the client’s portion to the client promptly.
Contingency fee agreements are not permitted in all types of cases.
Unless a claim is subject to certain provisions of law or court order, contingency fees are not set by law and are negotiable between attorney and client.
Client’s costs and expenses are advanced by Attorney only as allowed by law.