Document Type


Publication Date



Contingent fees, Economic conflict of interest


Civil Procedure | Legal Profession | Litigation | Statistical Models


Two basic fees--contingent and hourly--dominate the variety of fees that lawyers charge clients for pursuing damage claims. Each of these two types has its advantages; each is plagued with substantial disadvantages. This Article proposes a new type of fee, one that preserves the respective advantages of the two present fees while minimizing their distinct disadvantages.

In essence, the proposed fee calls for the payment, on a contingent basis, of an amount computed by adding one component tied to hours worked and another component linked to amount recovered. The preferability and feasibility of this proposed fee argue for the abolishment, or at least for the severe restriction, of the contingent fee as it is now known; the hourly fee should continue as a client's option.

Publication Citation

Published in: Cornell Law Review, vol. 63, no. 4 (April 1978).