What Are Conditional Fee Or No Win No Fee Agreements

no win no fee

what is no win no fee

How would you feel if you lose a battle in court and end up in a situation where you are forced to pay your attorney and your opponent’s attorney? I bet that it would never be a good feeling! However, with the new conditional fee agreement, you pay your solicitor only if he is wins the case for you. So what exactly is a ‘no win no fee’ agreement? Let us find out the two types of this agreement’s conditions.

Conditional Fee Agreements

This is the most widely accepted and preferred conditional fee agreement. Two main features of this type of agreement are:

  • Success fee – The attorney gets his success fee only if he is successful in court. However, the attorney can charge you double his normal fee if he wins the case for you. This is considered as a compensation for the risk he took.
  • The ‘After Event’ Insurance policy – If you lose the case, it is true that under the ‘no win no fee’ agreement, you do not have to pay your attorney. However, you are accountable for your opponent’s costs. This will include the court fees of your opponent, his solicitor’s fee or any other fees pertaining to the case. It is the responsibility of your solicitor to arrange this fee for you with the help of an ‘after event insurance policy’. This will make sure that you do not have to pay a penny to the opponent even if you lose the case.

Contingency Fees

This is much easier to understand compared to the Conditional Fee Agreement. You can find Contingency fee agreements in employment tribunals where clients usually battle for a reimbursement or compensation. The client agrees to pay a part of this compensation to the solicitor if he wins the lawsuit for him.

contingency fee agreements

     no win no fee agreements

The Access to Justice Act of 1999 has lead to a number of debates and hullabaloos. With the law enacted in 1999, a large number of companies came up with no lawyers. With policy premiums going up, the victims in accident cases ended up with nothing in their pockets even after successful results in courts. In an attempt to make easy money, companies also started to egg on clients to apply for fake and insignificant claims.

Although, the law brought in many controversies along with it, it has become the most preferred agreement for many clients. However, please note that no solicitors may take up your case or agree to the conditional fee agreements if they do not see any hope of winning your case.

A Short Note On Strict Liability Crimes

Strict liability examples

Examples of Strict liability

What is strict liability? In the criminal law system that we presently follow, defendants are usually only punished if they are found guilty, or when there is requisite ‘mens rea.’ That is, the court renders punishment to only those who are found to be morally worthy of blame. An accused is deemed guilty if he is found to have broken the law intentionally. However, there are certain crimes, which do not require a mens rea, and such cases are known as the strict liability cases.

What is a strict liability crime?

A strict liability crime, as mentioned above is a crime that does not call for a mens rea. In other words, these crimes do not require the defendant to have done something that is wrong or that is morally blameworthy. That is, the accused can be held responsible even if he/she does not have a guilty mind that usually makes a crime morally wrong.

Strict liability examples

The strict liability crime can at times be a concept that is a little hard to understand. Given below are a few strict liability examples to help you understand this legal principle in a better way.

  • Statutory rape law: Sexual intercourse with a minor is illegal according to this law. Here the defendant is guilty of a strict liability crime even if he/she believed that his/her partner was of a legally consenting age. Whether or not the offender intended to have sexual intercourse with a minor does not matter for it to be a crime.
  • Traffic offenses are another example of the strict liability crime. Even if you believe that you were driving within the prescribed speed limits, you will still be given a speeding ticket if you had crossed it.
  • An individual who sells alcohols to minors will be convicted of a strict liability crime even if he/she had believed that the minor was old enough to be buying alcohol.

    Strict liability crimes

    Strict liability explained

How strict liability crimes are justified

Criminally punishing someone for making mistakes that were apparently honest and which has some kind of justification may seem very unfair at first thought. However, in the longer run, the benefits to society of enforcing such laws are far greater than the cost of punishing such an offender.

That was some information on strict liability crimes and its examples. For more info on the same, refer legal resources available online.

How To Terminate Your Personal Injury Lawyer

personal injury lawyer, old lawyer

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When you hire a personal injury lawyer, you expect him to handle your case as you wish. What if he does not and you feel like you are going down on your case? Well, terminate him! Even though many clients feel reluctant to terminate their attorneys, it is your right and you can terminate him at any point of time. This article will help you to terminate his services and appoint a new attorney as you wish. Follow the steps below to fire your attorney.

  • Check the agreement – The first step is to check the payment agreement. The terms of agreement and termination policy would be clearly stated in this document. Go through them and find out the terms and conditions of termination. Ask your attorney for bill statements and pay them off. This will help you in a smooth dismissal as you have settled the bills with your attorney.
  • Appoint another attorney – If you have any cases pending, it is always advisable to appoint another attorney as soon as possible. This will make sure that your cases are carried on smoothly in the court and the termination of your previous lawyer does not affect the smooth proceedings of your cases.
  • Send a letter in writing – When you terminate the services of the personal injury lawyer, it is always advisable to send a formal letter to him citing the reasons for the termination and mentioning the exact date and time from which he is relieved from services.
  • Inform the court – When you change your attorney, make sure that you inform the court, along with all the others concerned. The court may proceed to discharge your old personal injury lawyer formally; however, this depends on the development of your case.

    personal injury lawyer, old lawyer

    personal injury lawyer fees

  • Obtain documents – Though you have parted with your old attorney, your file is your right. The old file related to your case is very important for your new attorney to carry the case forward. However, usually, you can obtain this from your old lawyer only when you have paid off his fees. Keep the doors open for negotiations if any disputes arise with your lawyer. You can also seek the help of your new attorney for negotiations purposes.

Your attorney is someone who is employed by you and you have every right to terminate him from serving and representing you in the court. Keep in mind the above points, if you wish to terminate your personal injury lawyer.

To Eliminate Or Not To Eliminate Punitive Damages

What is punitive damages

Civil lawsuits and punitive damages

What is punitive damages? A very often asked question, these are monetary damages awarded to punish the defendant and to deter others from committing the same wrong in the future. Besides the actual damages, these damages are generally awarded to benefit the society as a whole. These exemplary damages are generally awarded in a civil lawsuit and have been awarded since the 1970’s.

What kind of conduct leads to punitive damages?

Punitive damages are considered as an instrument to convey a message to the defendant and the society to deter such similar wrongs in the future. However, punitive damages become a major controversy in civil and product liability cases. The wrongdoing for which the defendant is awarded punitive damages varies, as there is no definitive definition for these damages. The accused may be ordered to pay punitive damages if he causes the injury intentionally and knowingly with malicious intent. These damages are usually awarded when the conduct can be regarded as fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, malicious or violent in nature. Generally, these non-compensatory damages are awarded only after awarding the compensatory damages.

Why are punitive damages unique in civil law?

While considering criminal law and civil law, there are quite a few differences to distinguish the two. The reason why punitive damages become controversial in civil law is that they are similar to the damages that are granted in a criminal case even though they are awarded in civil law. The awards that are granted in civil lawsuits are generally compensatory in nature. However, punitive damages being non-compensatory in nature are what make them similar to the damages that are awarded in a criminal case. For this reason, punitive damages are often termed as ‘quasi-criminal.’

Non-Compensatory Damages

Punitive damages explained

Eliminate the punitive damages or not?

When it comes to punitive damages, there are both supporters as well as critics to this legal principle. While the supporters are of the opinion that when it is not possible to calculate the actual losses suffered by the plaintiff tangibly, then punitive damages serve as a sufficient compensation. On the other hand, critics believe that these punishments are criminal in nature and that it cannot be considered reasonable in today’s modern society. They are of the opinion that it is not fair to enforce it on defendants, as they do not have protection under criminal court proceedings.

For more info on what is punitive damages and the laws regarding the same, refer online legal resources. Alternatively, you can go down to your local library and check out their law section.

No Win No Fee Might Not Reward Just Like That

No Win No Fee

No win no fee attorneys

Be it a product or a service, we need pay only if we get what we want. That is indeed a just principle as regards the value of every hard-earned penny that we spend. However, the bitter fact is that such a principle of ‘just economics’ might not reward always as we expect. Surgeries are indeed risky, and there is no ‘money back guarantee’ associated with them. Nevertheless, if we could pay the hospital and the surgeon well, we can at the least expect that they would put in their best efforts to save our lives. Thus similar is the case with employment law advice as well.

The risk of losing and the exorbitant amounts of fees charged by solicitors are indeed genuine reasons for many of us to choose the no win no fee route. However, as experiences suggest, there are a quite few reasons why we should not opt for such a safe-play. And in this post, let’s take a look at some of those reasons.

The Pitfalls in a Safe-playing Route

  • The sort of agreements in question shall in most cases include a clause which gives the solicitor the main say on whether a settlement offered is acceptable or not. In order to mitigate the risk, it would not be surprising even if the solicitor accepts much lower sum than what the client wants. Moreover, chances are high that the employer might even drive a wedge between you and your solicitor.

    Contractual Claims

          no win no fee method

  • In situations where the employee does not face the risk of paying the employer’s legal costs, it is possible that the case will be pushed longer than normal in the hope of getting a better settlement. The core of the issue is that the lawyer would be paid anyway, and as the case nears the tribunal the lesser would the client receive. Similarly, as the case reaches the tribunal over a long period of time, all damages ordered would be likely be consumed up as legal fees.
  • Most employment cases are worth less than 9000 dollars; in some instances it could be even less! That said it could be assumed that most cases are related to contractual claims and loss of earnings. Therefore, the best methodology is to get the most competent advice available even if you have to pay for it.

Hope this post gives you a fair idea on how to tackle an employment case to your advantage. For any further assistance on no win no fee lawyers, feel free to get in touch with our experts.

Some Notes On Exclusionary Rule

What is the exclusionary rule

                            Details on exclusionary rule

The Exclusionary rule is one of the important rules in place in our country, particularly due to the fact that it awards the citizen the right to be protected from illegal searches and seizures conducted by law authorities. This rule was declared in the Fourth Amendment, but there were no details given as to how these would be translated into concrete terms. There have been several suggestions given by the authorities as to how such rules should be enforced, but there has always been stiff opposition to all of these. This led to the Supreme Court considering the issue, and the obscurity surrounding the exclusionary rule was somewhat lessened.

What is the exclusionary rule?

The Exclusionary rule makes it clear that, any evidence that is seized by means of illegal searches is not admissible in a court of law. This rule gives the people a sense of security in their own homes, as their privacy would not be invaded by the law enforcement agencies unless they were suspect of committing a crime.

If a police officer were to conduct an illegal search and seizure, not only would he or she be prohibited from presenting any evidence obtained from such a search, but he or she would also be liable to face legal action. But, it must be noted that, in most cases, such police officers conducting illegal searches do so because of their overzealous nature, and not because they want to frame an innocent person. Therefore, in such cases, punishing such officers will deal them a huge blow, and might even result in them losing interest in their jobs. Therefore, in such situations, the officers are dealt with internally by an internal disciplinary committee.

Supreme Court

                  Exclusionary rule explained

A person whose privacy has been invaded by a law enforcement officer in the name of a search, which was illegal, will usually have a tort action available under state statutory law. The person can either pursue this course of action to ensure that the police officer does not commit such actions in the future, and to ensure that he is adequately compensated. However, as mentioned above, such police officers are subjected to internal disciplinary actions, and will not have to face legal proceedings from a court.

These are some details regarding the exclusionary rule in the country. If you have more questions on what is the exclusionary rule, you can always find answers from various online sources.