Our attorneys handle nearly all of our cases on a contingency fee basis, which means we are paid a percentage of any amount that exceeds the initial offer from the government. If we don’t recover any additional compensation on your behalf, we don’t get paid; If we do, our fee is one-third of the additional amount we resolve the case for.
For example, assume a case where the Department of Transportation offers $150,000 for damages on a property taking. After litigation and or trial, we resolve the case for $300,000. Our fee is 1/3 of the additional amount obtained, or $50,000.
Are There Exceptions to This Fee Structure?
One exception to this structure is inverse condemnation cases, where we sue the government for taking land without paying for it. In this type of case, the attorney’s fee is usually calculated as a percentage of the total amount of what the lawyer recovers. But note that in many North Carolina inverse condemnation cases, a property owner may also be entitled to recover attorney fees from the defendant. So, our client can be paid the total amount of the case settlement, and the attorney’s fees may be paid separately by the condemning agency.
Finally, there are also situations in land-taking cases where the lawyer and paralegal work on a flat hourly rate. These are often situations where the lawyer is working on parts of your case and are not directly related to the actual taking of your land but are closely tied to it.
North Carolina licensed attorneys must keep all case-related expenses separate from their fees. This rule is in place for several reasons, most notably because the NC State Bar does not want lawyers giving clients things of value as an inducement to be retained. Therefore, we are required to keep up with all case-specific costs that we incur throughout the life of a case. These expenses include appraisals, expert witnesses, court filing fees, and other out-of-pocket costs. We do not keep up with and do not charge our clients any internal expenses such as mileage, phone calls, postage, transcription, or photocopies. Those amounts are all allowably included in our fee.
Trusted North Carolina Land Condemnation Lawyers
If you have questions about your rights in a land-taking situation or would like further information about our fee structure, contact us today. Call the experienced North Carolina Land Condemnation Attorneys of Henson Fuerst at 919-781-1107 or by submitting a free case evaluation form online.