How To Sue The Pants Off Somebody Without Losing Your Shirt

March 2003

O.P.M. (Other People's Mistakes) Alert

This issue continues our series on construction. This month we focus on construction defect litigation. Perhaps the most significant development in years (if not decades) is the new law affecting all purchasers of new homes or condos. This is the topic of our Feature Article: "Homeowners: Avoid These 5 Traps Under the New Construction Dispute Resolution Law".

How To Sue The Pants Off Somebody Without Losing Your Shirt

Problem: A commercial landlord came to us with a problem. He believed he had a good claim against his tenant with a potentially significant recovery but did not want to commit all the financial resources required to litigate the case aggressively.

Solution: After reviewing the file, we agreed the client's claim had merit, although we did have concerns. We wanted to help this client accomplish his objectives. So, we structured a hybrid contingency fee structure: we charged the client much less than our regular hourly rate and, in turn, he rewarded us with a bonus, the size of which was determined by how successful we were. After a 14- day jury trial, we prevailed, the client recovered approximately $500,000 and we didn't do too badly either. IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITY: We do not take cases like this often. However, for a limited time, we are accepting calls from clients (or prospective clients) who believe they have a strong case with a potentially significant recovery but want to hedge their risk and save money in the litigation process. We will accept ONE new case. If you believe you have, or somebody you know has, a strong claim for a potentially significant recovery, please contact Jeff Lerman to discuss further.