Dickerman & Associates offers several different fee plans to enable its clients to gain access to the courts.


Fixed Fee 

Matters that require a certain and determinable amount of work may be billed pursuant to a fixed fee arrangement. This means the client will pay a pre-determined price for services provided.

Hourly Fee

This arrangement calls for the client to be billed on an hourly basis, and is most commonly used in matters where the amount of work or duration of the project is difficult or impossible to estimate. The client will periodically receive an invoice detailing the date on which the attorney or staff member worked on the matter, the task performed and the amount of time spent on the task, and other fees and expenses incurred during that period.

Contingency Fee

Business owners and others are often deterred from suing because of the substantial costs their lawsuits could entail. After a careful review, Mr. Dickerman may take your case on contingency. If he does, you pay him attorney fees only if he wins and then only the percentage of the settlement or verdict on which you and he have agreed in advance. The chief advantages of working with Mr. Dickerman on a contingency fee basis are:

• You do not have to advance a small fortune in legal fees on a matter whose outcome you cannot know in advance.

• Mr. Dickerman handles your case personally and gives your lawsuit his focused attention.

• You enjoy the confidence that comes from knowing that Mr. Dickerman would not have taken your case unless he had concluded it was a strong one and that he stood an excellent chance of winning.

The ins and outs of contingency fee representation are discussed at length below.

Hybrid Arrangements

The firm and client may agree to a billing arrangement comprised of a mixture of the three types of billing methods mentioned above, based on the client’s needs and ability to pay.

How Do Contingency Fees Work?

Many people and businesses cannot afford or do not want to pay top-notch lawyers their hourly fees. Therefore, in appropriate cases we will work on a contingency fee basis. Rather than charge hourly fees, the firm will take its fee as a percentage of the client’s recovery. If no recovery is obtained, the client does not have to pay fees for our legal services.

What Percentage Would I Pay As a Contingency Fee?

The firm does not have a set contingency fee rate. The rate depends on the type of case, its complexity, the stage in the litigation when we are contacted, the amount at stake, the likelihood that the defendant can pay a judgment, and other factors. Generally, our fees range from 33-1/3% for the least complex pre-trial matter, to 45% for complex cases that are set for trial.

Would I Pay Litigation Costs? How Much Would They Be?

Litigation is expensive. There are costs for such things as investigation, copying documents, witness fees, transcript fees, hiring of expert witnesses, exhibit preparation, and jury fees. We cannot estimate in advance the total costs, because every case is different and the earlier the case is resolved, the less the costs are likely to be. We keep the litigation costs in proportion to the anticipated recovery. We also keep you apprised of anticipated costs, and seek your input on significant expenditures.

How Do I Know How Much My Case Is Worth?

Every case is unique. The liability is never exactly the same in any two cases, even if they seem to be similar. Some of the factors that influence the value are:

• The strength of the evidence establishing liability.

• The other party’s defenses.

• The nature and extent of the damages.

• The jurisdiction where the case is pending (some are more conservative than others).

• The credibility of witnesses, especially the complaining party.

Our policy is to give a client or prospective client an evaluation of his or her case only after we have fully evaluated the relevant factors. This usually means the value can be determined only well after the firm has accumulated a good deal of information. We advise you to be wary of any lawyer who claims he can evaluate your case based on partial information. Anyone can state inflated values that have no basis in reality. Honest, highly skilled lawyers such as William Dickerman will not make empty promises or regale you with pie-in-the-sky estimates; rather, they will give an evaluation only when they have enough information to back it up.

Is It Better To Settle My Case or Take It To Trial?

Over 90% of lawsuits settle. The main reason is that both sides realize they may lose at trial – no matter how strong the lawyers think their case is – and they are willing to compromise in order to avoid the risks inherent in trial. In almost every case, settling means accepting less than the potential recovery at trial if everything goes perfectly. On the other hand, a settlement guarantees a recovery and avoids the problems that might occur if trial does not go as hoped and expected. The chances of obtaining a fair settlement increase greatly when the other side knows that your lawyer is prepared and willing to go to trial. In every case there is a best time to negotiate settlement, depending on factors unique to each case. Our many years of experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants will tell us when that time is. When a settlement offer is made, you need to balance it against the amount you might recover if you decide to proceed further with the case. The main questions we will help you answer are:

• How much will I net from the settlement?

• If I reject this offer, is it likely there will be a higher offer made later? Will I net more if there is a higher


• If I reject this offer, what are my prospects at trial?

Ultimately, you will be the one to decide whether to settle, depending on your own analysis of risk and reward.


For a complimentary phone consultation, call us today at (310) 268-6666, or contact us online.