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Why Ohio Landowners Should consider a Contingency Fee in an Eminent Domain Case

Many of our Ohio clients are concerned about paying legal fees in an eminent domain action. That is why Sever Storey has provided contingency fee arrangements for its eminent domain clients. A contingency fee is simple, easy and cost effective for most clients. In a contingency fee arrangement our firm will only be paid if we recover more money than you were offered. In this arrangement we will take 33% of the amount that we add to the offer.

Let me give an example; let’s assume that you were offered $100,000.00 as part of the eminent domain action. You agree to hire our firm and we negotiate a settlement of $200,000.00. In this situation your fees would be $33,000.00.

Initial offer: $100,000.00 (client keeps this full amount)

Final Settlement: $200,000.00

Value added: $100,000.00

33% on value added: $33,000.00

Total to client: $167,000.00

If we were not able to successfully add value to your case then you would not owe attorney fees!

How does the client benefit from using a contingent-fee arrangement?

Risk is one of our Ohio clients’ biggest concerns. Many clients are very concerned about spending a lot of money on attorney fees when they believe that they may not recover more money. By using a contingency fee arrangement, the client eliminates this risk. It allows them to feel comfortable hiring qualified and experienced eminent domain attorneys like the ones at Sever Storey without worrying about fees and billing on a monthly basis.

An added general incentive of contingency fee arrangements is that they reduce the litigation of frivolous or bad cases and incentivize the attorneys to pursue better, more worthwhile cases. From an attorney perspective, why take a bad case if you won’t be paid? In a contingency fee arrangement the attorney has no incentive to conduct wasteful discovery, use unnecessary experts, or drive-up needless litigation costs. The attorney has every incentive to be efficient and, most importantly, win the case. In our opinion, a contingent-fee arrangement is the most efficient method of compensating the eminent domain attorney for the result obtained.

Why does Sever Storey prefer Contingency fee arrangements?

We prefer the contingent-fee arrangement because it is the model of efficiency. The arrangement aligns—perfectly—the interests of the client and attorney and effectively makes them business partners in the litigation. It is this partnership between client and attorney that provides the best possible results in the eminent domain case.

Hourly Arrangements Available

Hourly arrangements are available for those Ohio individuals or corporations that desire a more traditional billing structure. Where there is a significant difference between the offer and the amount of compensation that we believe is owed, it may make financial sense for the client to adopt an hourly billing arrangement. This is as long as the client can afford the monthly fees. In situations where we are fighting a taking, we work exclusively on an hourly basis.

Per Ethical Rules: Clients must be ultimately responsible for court costs and expenses. 


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