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  • Broadcast in Legal
Doctor Frank

Doctor Frank


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This weekly “blogcast” focuses on the "absurdities" of the American legal system.  The subject of this episode will be the contingent attorney fee, which is one of the most glaring absurdities of our legal system.  The contingent fee became accepted in the late 18th century, ostensibly in response to the strong American desire to insure access to the courts by the poor.  Unfortunately, it quickly became intimately connected to ambulance chasing, thereby popularizing the worst absurdities of our legal system.

Today, the poor no longer need financial help getting to court.  The modern advent of litigation funding is steadily working its way into our legal system.

The popularity of the contingent fee has another downside beyond ambulance chasing, namely Attorney overcharging.  In 2003, plaintiff attorney fees in the US totaled an estimated $46 billion. This is only slightly less than the 2003 total sales figure for BMW.

Here's how most of the contingent fee overcharging occurs.

People who seek legal services after suffering personal injuries caused by the wrongful conduct of others routinely sign complex legal documents without studying them, or getting any independent legal advice.  Then, at the time of settlement, and distribution of proceeds, again, they have no one helping them to prevent a greedy attorney from taking excessive fee.

People do not know that they have rights and remedies to collect overcharges made by their attorneys.  These remedies, and other relevant topics are all covered in the ABSURDITIES OF OUR LEGAL SYSTEM by host, Alan Frank, a retired, controversial former trial attorney turned journalist.

Guests can call-in  (718) 664-6060