Shared Risk, Bonus Payment Structure and the Colorado Bar Ethics Committee Opinion 77

Often, plaintiff's bar doesn't have the resources to prepare cases like the insurance industry. Lītigāre levels the playing field with our fee structure. Generally, traditional trial consultants and those that are used by the defense industry question the ethics of the fee structure. The CBA Ethics Committee in opinion 77 (March 19, 1988) explored contingency fee agreements in regards to a medical-legal consulting firm.

In this decision the committee ruled that all of the facts and circumstances of each particular case indicate whether a lawyer violates the Code of Professional Responsibility when entering into a contingent or modified contingency fee agreement with a medical-legal consulting firm.  

     They based their opinion on the following reasons:

  1. Reasonableness of the lawyer’s fees;
  2. Compensation to expert witnesses contingent upon the content of their testimony or the outcome of the case
  3. Restrictions affecting the lawyer's obligation to other clients;
  4. Erosion of the lawyer's exercise of independent professional judgment;

Lītigāre's Fee Structure (in compliance with CBA Opinion 77)

1. Our reasonable fee is a pre-arranged flat fee with you and your client’s input, understanding, and acceptance. We clearly delineate that the client, not the attorney is responsible for our fees. This fee structure is never tied to the dollar amount of the settlement amount or award.

2. A Lītigāre consultant’s sole role is to partner with you in an advisory capacity to develop overall psychological strategies to win your case. Unlike medical-legal consultants, Lītigāre does not offer testimony and we are not expert witnesses, nor do we recommend expert witnesses or prepare the content of expert testimony. Litigare does not maintain professional connections to any single or expert witness firm.  

3. The CBA Ethics Committee was concerned with the exclusivity clauses that the medical-legal consulting firm had inserted in their contract, which restricted the lawyer’s obligations to other clients. Lītigāre never includes exclusivity provisions in our service agreements or interferes with a lawyer’s obligations. 

 4. Lītigāre consultants are advisers who partner with trial lawyers to create psychological strategies for trial. We advise in matters that are tangential to the case and do not venture into the subject matter of any case. Our structure fortifies your exercise of independent professional judgment.

Read the Full Opinion