Cover of Risks, Reputations, and Rewards by Herbert M. Kritzer
Risks, Reputations, and Rewards
Contingency Fee Legal Practice in the United States
Herbert M. Kritzer

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2004
352 pages.
$47.00

Cloth ISBN: 9780804749671

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Risks, Reputations, and Rewards looks at a variety of interrelated questions about contingency fee legal practice: What is the nature of the contingency fees that lawyers charge? How do lawyers get and screen potential cases? How do contingency fee lawyers interact with their clients and opponents? What is involved in settling these cases? What types of returns do contingency fee cases produce? And what role does reputation play in contingency fee practice? The author argues that to be successful, contingency fee lawyers must generate a portfolio of cases, similar to an investment portfolio with its associated risk. This has a significant impact on how contingency fee lawyers obtain and select cases, manage their work, and deal with the pressures that arise in settling cases. More important, understanding the work of contingency fee lawyers in terms of an ongoing practice rather than in terms of individual cases mitigates some of the significant conflicts that may exist between lawyers and clients.

About the author

Herbert M. Kritzer is Professor of Political Science and Law at the University of Wisconsin—Madison.

"It is an excellent piece of scholarship that adds substantially to our understanding f the contingency fee and speaks to important public policy issues."

Law and Politics Book Review

"Client acquisition, case management, settlement negotiations, case payoffs, and attorney reputations are all examined under Professor Kritzer's rigorous microscope, and the picture that emerges is often at odds with common perceptions."

Harvard Law Review